MEDIA RELEASE 22 September 2020

Research into New Zealanders’ attitudes toward alcohol shows Kiwis are comfortable with alcohol in social situations.

A study by the NZ Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC) found 87% of New Zealanders say adults should be able to enjoy alcohol as part of a social occasion – and 76% of non-drinkers agreed with this.

“Enjoying a social occasion over good food with family or friends and having a drink if you choose is a normal part of New Zealand society. What’s important is that alcohol is consumed moderately and responsibly and as a part of a balanced lifestyle, and 80% of Kiwis do that,” says Bridget MacDonald, NZABC’s Executive Director.

The nationwide research also asked New Zealanders how they felt about taking their kids to social environments where alcohol was served or consumed.

“Four out of five Kiwis (81%) are quite comfortable taking their children to a friend’s house or out to a restaurant or café where alcohol is being consumed, and they are equally comfortable having a drink around their kids at home. Around half the Kiwis surveyed have taken kids to a sports match, concert or bar where alcohol was served,” says Bridget.

“We already know that one of the keys to a better drinking culture is sociability – that means having a drink is merely a choice made as part of a social gathering – not the reason for the social gathering.

“It’s about keeping safe and social. And young adult drinkers are showing the way with more and more choosing to either drink moderately or not to drink at all.

“People are drinking less and less harmfully, and they’re choosing more no and low alcohol drinks to suit their personal circumstances and lifestyle or social situation,” says Bridget.

Need help?

Call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, free txt 8681, or visit

Need more information?

Check out and for more information on what a standard drink is and how to make better drinking decisions.

Ministry of Health/HPA Guidelines: Low-risk alcohol drinking advice

Reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than:

two standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks a week,

three standard drinks a day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks a week,

AND have at least two alcohol-free days every week.

About this research

The New Zealanders’ attitudes to alcohol research was conducted November-December 2019 by Curia Market Research Ltd and involved 1,000 participants, with a sampling error of +/-3% at the 95% confidence level. Curia Market Research Ltd is a member of the Research Association of New Zealand (RANZ). This poll was done in accordance with the RANZ Industry Code of Practice.

Key points:

  • 87% agree adults should be able to enjoy alcohol as part of social occasions.
  • 89% had taken children to a friend’s house where adults have consumed alcohol.
  • 84% have consumed alcohol in their own home with children present.
  • 81% have taken children to a café or restaurant where alcohol is served.
  • 56% have taken their children to a sports match where alcohol is served.
  • 47% have taken their children to a bar or pub.