The issue of New Zealand's binge drinking culture is once again being raised after the alcohol fuelled and unruly behaviour that marred the weekend's rugby league games at Eden Park.
Police made six arrests and evicted a number of people during the event, after what the Prime Minister called "loutish-type behaviour".
Many tvnz.co.nz readers were at the game and felt the same way as John Key, with messageboard user 'Porrik' saying it was a "sad night".
"We were intimidated by the uncontrolled crowd who were more interested in the many fights elsewhere in the stands. We were deafened by 100 decibel entertainment noise. As soon as the Mexican wave started, we felt endangered. We were sprayed with beer, and full bottles rained down around us. Also a heavy aerosol hooter dropped right next to us, and we left, joining a large crowd retreating for their lives, well before full time. Hundreds of us. A very sad sight. Never again."
Mt Eden resident 'Bta' was also unimpressed.
"After the game, tens of thousands of beer cans and bottles were scattered across neighbours' lawns, on top of fences, tucked into any space you could imagine and still there is broken glass and cans on the surrounding streets. As an unfortunate neighbour to Eden Park, I have to say if you repeat the previous failed experience, we are going to get everyone together and take you, Eden Park management, to court!"
Another reader agreed.
"What a complete embarrassment...and not again! News like this will travel globally and you wait, the opinion will be 'how on Earth does NZ expect to host world events if this is how the 'fans' behave?. I am a NZer living in the UK and I attended the test match between England and the All Blacks and while alcohol was bought and drunk in the stands during the game, at no stage were there any incidents of thuggery from supporters - a family atmosphere was maintained. Grow up!" commented 'Tuffywendon'.
Some readers said the scenes over the weekend would not, however, be seen during the Rugby world Cup next year.
"I can't believe the ridiculously blinkered, mis-informed opinions being spouted here. The sort of behaviour exhibited by the league supporters at the weekend will not be seen during the RWC because Rugby Union is followed by a totally different fan base, it's as simple as that. Do not tar the supporters of our great game with the same crappy brush as a league fan, " said 'Camabb'.
"The behaviour by the league public on Saturday night has very little relevance to what will happen at the RWC. Rugby tests at Eden Park are always an event I'd take my kids to and the amount required to pay for RWC seats will mean people are there to watch the games and not just cause trouble."
Meanwhile, it is hoped new liquor laws tabled in parliament today, will help fight the country's binge-drinking problems.
Proposed laws include a split drinking age, with 18-year-olds able to drink in bars, but not able to buy from liquor stores until they are 20. A conscience vote will be held on that issue.
However one tvnz.co.nz reader disagrees with that proposal.
"Changing the age will make no difference. Make it less available. Take it out of supermarkets and go back to wholesalers and responsible outlets. More penalties for selling to underage kids,and penalties to anyone supplying to underage kids. Maybe a special card to prove age when buying. Need to get this problem under control. Adults are as bad as the kids and need to get a grip. Sports like Saturday was a disgrace to see. I was not proud to be a Kiwi," said 'Tomolly'.
'Yellowmorgan' however thinks the law change may have an impact.
"Increase the drinking age to 20 at liquor stores. Reduce access to alcohol to liquor stores only i.e. stop supermarkets from selling and advertising cheap beer right next to the fruit and vege aisles!"
The Alcohol Reform Bill could have its first reading as soon as next week, and will then go to a select committee for six months for public submissions.
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