Awash with alcohol and lies in the Internet Age



Kilbirnie Pak 'n Save in booze ban after selling to pair of 16-year-olds


Our country has been described as “awash by alcohol” by more than one observer. In New Zealand, buying alcohol is easier than buying a car fuse at a petrol station. (I know this, I’ve tried.)

On Tuesday 29 July, I noticed the following signage at Kilbirnie’s busy Pak’N’Save supermarket;

TDB Recommends




Indeed, the entire liquor section at the supermarket – a not inconsiderable area of the complex – had been blockaded by a Great Wall of Loopaper,  chippies, sugary soft-drinks, and other highly-processed, salted snack-foods;






Perhaps what really caught my attention was the wording of the yellow signage, at regular intervals adorning the Great Wall;




Liquor products are currently unavailable.

Liquor products are currently unavailable due

to an issue with our liquor license. This will be

resolved by Thursday  30th July.

We would like to apologise for the inconvenience

this issue has caused and we appreciate your


Pak N Save




Breaking the law and selling liquor to sixteen year olds is defined as an “issue” by Pak N Save’s management?

The term “issue” has supplanted the previous terms that might also be applicable in this case; “problem”; “stuff-up”; or simply, “breaking the terms of our liquor license by illegally selling to young people under 18”.

Any one of those terms would be more honest than a hazy veil of euphemism, referring to losing a liquor license for five days as an “issue”.

Forgetting to reapply for a liquor license might be deemed an “issue”. Selling to under-age kids is a major screw-up. (Also somewhat illegal.)

I wonder if the supermarket’s owner would be as forgiving of a shoplifter caught with a dozen Whittaker’s chocolate bars (Whittakers being better quality than Cadbury, any day) down her blouse, casually apologising for the “issue” of not paying for the goods?

There seems to be a casual – almost dishonest manner – by which the supermarket has presented their transgression to the public. As if National had loaned Pak N Save a couple of their spin-doctors, to minimise any public disapproval of the “issue”.

Our government has the very best of spin-doctors, and we are daily mis-informed; distracted; deflected; and outright lied to by Ministers who have been caught engaged in questionable activities.

John Key’s assertion that a prisoner at Mt Eden Prison “fell” of the balcony, rather than being pushed by fellow in-mates, was his version of Pak N Save’s “issue” with their liquor license;

“One of the claims that had been made, I think, was that someone had been thrown off a balcony – in fact, actually, Serco say that the person jumped off the balcony, or tripped, or fell.”

It is ironic that in the Age of the Internet; of near instantaneous communication and super highways of information, that we have more misinformation; half-truths; “spin”;  and sheer lies thrown at us than ever before.

It is not just alcohol we are awash with – it’s lies.

In the case of politics, the irony is that we, the tax-payer, pay spin-doctors to help government ministers, to lie to us.





Fairfax media: Kilbirnie Pak ‘n Save in booze ban after selling to pair of 16-year-olds

Fairfax media: Corrections Minister looking at options for Serco-run prisons after allegations of ill-treatment




key's credibility takes a hit




= fs =


  1. Ask a National voter if they tell their children it is okay to lie and they would say “of course not. Lying is wrong” or something to that effect. But at the same time they see lying from the leader of the country as being okay.

    When the Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers all engage in lying as normal practice, it has a corrosive effect on the rest of society and encourages corruption.

    Finally, the manager of the Pak n Save where I live is like a petit version of John Key. Or to put it the other way round, John Key is like a big version of your typical Pak n Save manager (my apologies to any progressive voting Pak n Save managers out there, if you exist).

    • Nats teaching kids lying is wrong? Ugh, don’t bother, EP. It just makes you depressed. Here’s what I hope my kids learn at preschool:

      Hands to yourself
      No violence toward others
      Kindness to those less fortunate

      But of course why would they follow these principles? The most powerful man in the country doesn’t bother, and he seems to be doing ok…

  2. “Liquor products are currently unavailable due

    to an issue with our liquor license.”


    Talk about semantics!

  3. True that frank.

    Its all down to this “loose Bruce” attitude in NZ today where anyone can sell liquor now.

    The checkout is always rushed and backed up so they are slack, but why are so many outlets there in the first place?

    Gees I lived in Canada as a Kiwi for many years and never had any problems going to the only beer outlet branch controlled by Government called “Brewers Retail” and going down the road to another Government operated outlet for Wine & spirits called “LLBO or Licenced Liquor Board outlet”

    Not one store or supermarket could sell the beer wine or spirits and we never went short at an all night party we held where 78 dozen bottles of empty beer bottles were gathered up at 6am in those winter mornings to take back to the Brewers retail and cash them in for another 4 dozen bottles of beer at opening time 11am.

    So why do we have so many outlets handled by over worked staff?

    Shokey politics of course where there is a policy of:
    “all care and no responsibility”. – Welcome to Planet key.

  4. It would be interesting to find out what proportion of Sak’n’Pave sales consists of liquor and tobacco, area by area. Those yellow signs seemed pretty desperate to reassure their shoppers that liquor would definitely be available there again, before they started looking for another dealer… er… supplier.

  5. National’s greatest achievement – making lies and corruption a normal part of New Zealand society. Good one Mr Key!

  6. The drug Alcohol is ‘pushed’ in New Zealand with over $200 million spent each year on ‘marketing’ , ie steinlager all-blacks .

    Over $75 million PER WEEK is spent on this drug…..

    The tax take on alcohol falls far short of the costs and harms resulting from alcohol abuse. Harms like:

    • 31% of all crime in New Zealand can be attributable to alcohol (2007-08).[12]

    • At least one third of recorded violence offences committed in 2007-2008 occurred where the offender had consumed alcohol prior to committing the offence.[13]

    • Alcohol-related crime is estimated to cost New Zealand NZ$716.5m a year with NZ$200.1m alone spend on policing.[14]

    • On average, 33% of all recorded offences are committed on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. However, when the number of offences where it is not known if an offender was affected by alcohol is accounted for, the overall most probable percentage is expected to be 46% of all offences.[15]

    • Approximately half (49.5%) of all homicides recorded between 1999-2008 involved either a suspect or victim being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident. 207 (42.3%) involved at least one suspect and 175 (36%) involved at least one victim under the influence of alcohol at the time of incident.[16]

    • In 2005-06, net healthcare costs related to alcohol use only was $343m. The largest component of this number was inpatient hospital costs of $121.0 million, or around a third.[17] .

    • BERL estimated the social costs of the harmful use of alcohol in 2005-2006 (expressed in 2008 dollar terms) to be $5.3 billion, of which 76 per cent ($3.7 billion) were tangible costs.[18]

    etc etc etc

    National protected the Alcohol drug industry during its last law review.

    New Zealand pays the price for this while the alcohol producers and sellers make out like bandits.

    Alcohol is a strong psychotic drug which should not be sold in super markets alongside normal food items.

    If alcohol were regulated appropriately we would be closing the new private prisons because they would be empty.

    And we would have a lot less victims of child abuse, murder rape etc.

    National support drug policy abuse and the alcohol laws are an example of how not to regulate a drug …………..

  7. also ……

    Detective Sergeant Kylie Schaare has dealt with some of the most horrific cases the unit has seen in the past 12 months.

    In one instance, an 8-month-old baby was beaten black and blue by his mother and suffered extensive bruising to his eyes, ears and face.

    Alcohol was a major factor in the bashing, which was apparent in a lot of physical and sexual abuse cases the unit dealt with, Mrs Schaare said.”

  8. Lead from the top down. No more tax deductions for booze, (entertainment expenses) No more free grog for Govt employes using Govt credit cards and ban alcohol on all Govt property, buildings and govt functions on private property. Why should we be paying for there piss ups?
    Or taxi rides because they have had a few drinks.
    Fn social engineering parasites.

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