Some changes have been made to the controversial Alcohol Reform Bill, but opposition parties say they don't go far enough.
The Bill will come before Parliament next month, with some small amendments expected, but not major changes such as the introduction of a minimum pricing on alcohol.
Green MP Kevin Hague says the announcement's been made early, to act as a smokescreen by the Government to hide other issues it's facing.
He says that means the Bill isn't the momentous step change hoped for.
"Certainly the Law Commission hoped for, when it submitted its reports, this Government sees this as mundane, everyday law change that has no greater importance than anything else."
He says the odd timing is a distraction from the other issues the Government's facing, such as the Sky City cronyism allegations and the difficulties surrounding John Banks.
He says the early release of information also means the Government hasn't consulted adequately with other parties.
Justice minister Judith Collins says amendments include a risk-based license fee, local communities having more say in where liquor outlets are placed and a limit on alcohol content in "ready to drink" products in off-licenses.
"Communities will be able to restrict and extend maximum opening hours and pose one-way doors which means patrons who leave premises will not be able to return within a specified time, make sure alcohol outlets are not open near schools or churches."
A medical spokesman for Alcohol Action New Zealand says if the Government was really serious about tackling New Zealand's drinking problem, it would raise the price of booze significantly.
Professor Doug Sellman says the Bill doesn't hit people in the pocket - where it would hurt the hardest.
"It's just so sad that this particular government just doesn't have it in them to undertake reform which makes it of course ironic that they're calling this the Alcohol Reform Bill."
Mr Sellman says it's more like the Alcohol Non-Reform Bill.
He says the changes don't include hiking the price of alcohol and restricting availability in supermarkets.
"Of all the tinkering that is going on in this Bill, it's what's not in the Bill that is by far the most important issue."
Mr Sellman says the Government is talking this Bill up when it's not going to make a blind bit of difference.
Trina Snow from the Grocery Retailers Association says it's unfair given most don't sell to teenagers.
She says it would be better to treat stores on a case-by-case basis.
"If they have been caught selling alcohol to underage purchasers, then absolutely revoke their license."
Ms Snow says a blanket ban isn't the way to go.
"It is quite possible that some convenience stores and some dairies will go out of business if they are no longer able to sell alcohol."
A conscience vote will be held on the purchase age and MPs will get to choose between a split age, keeping it at 18, or increasing it to 20.
National MP Sam Lotu-Iiga has decided he'll vote to increase purchase age to 20, but admits it's tough to take the right away from 18-year-olds.
"They could vote, they could marry, they could go to war and join the army, and I actually have great sympathy for that. At the end of the day I represent the people of Maungakiekie and they have come out resoundingly in favour of raising the purchase age of alcohol."