There has been a reported increase in the consumption of alcohol since the liberalisation of the liquor laws in 1989, which made alcohol more affordable and more widely available. On 23 August 2010 the Minister of Justice, Hon. Simon Power, announced a new Alcohol Law Reform package. This new package is based on the Law Commission‟s report “Alcohol in our Lives: Curbing the Harm” (NZLC R114, Wellington 2010) a follow up on the initial report “Alcohol in our lives” (NZLC IP15, Wellington, 2009), and incorporates 126 of their recommendations. The Law Commission‟s reports revealed that 54% of people under 25 and 25% of adults consume large quantities (6 plus standard drinks for males and 4 plus standard drinks for females) of alcohol when they drink, and that the number of liquor licences has doubled in the past two decades. However, it identified the main concerns for society are those aged 14-19 who are drinking at an earlier age and consuming larger quantities of alcohol than previous surveys have shown for this age group. The problem with this heavy drinking culture is the risk that it poses and harm that it causes both to the individual and to society. Alcohol contributes to 1,000 deaths per year and is a factor in 31% of all police-recorded offences, 34% of family violence incidents, and 49.5% of all homicides. The aim of the reform package is to change this drinking culture and reduce the harm it causes by restricting both access to alcohol and the advertisement of alcohol. The reforms will provide the following: A split purchase age, 18 years for on-licenses and 20 years for off-licenses. Restricting RTDs to 5 per cent alcohol content and limiting RTDs to containers holding no more than 1.5 standard drinks. That it is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years without their parent’s or guardian’s consent, and there is also a requirement that alcohol is supplied responsibly. That the Minister of Justice may ban alcohol products that are particularly appealing to minors or dangerous to health. It is an offence to advertise alcohol in a way that appeals to minors. Communities are to have a greater say on the concentration, location, and opening hours of alcohol outlets through the use of local alcohol policies. For a restriction of maximum opening hours for off-licenses to 7am – 11pm and for on-licenses, club licenses and special licenses to 8am – 4am. Clarity to the law that dairies and convenience stores are not “off-licenses” (and therefore cannot sell alcohol), together with increasing penalties for a range of licence breaches. An extension of liquor bans to include places that the public has legitimate access to, for example car parks and school grounds. Strengthening the offence of promoting excessive consumption of alcohol by having it apply to any business selling or promoting alcohol and providing examples of unacceptable promotions such as giving away free alcohol. Improved public education and treatment services. It is anticipated that these reforms will provide a balance between restricting the use of alcohol and not inconveniencing those who drink responsibly. However, as has been reported in the media, by trying to satisfy everyone the changes may not go far enough to make a significant difference.