MEDIA RELEASE 2 October 2020
Kiwis have strong views on how to reduce alcohol-related harm.
A survey by the NZ Alcohol Beverage Council (NZABC) found 84% of New Zealanders support taking an all-of-society approach when it comes to reducing harmful drinking.
“Kiwis support a pragmatic, all-of-society approach to reducing alcohol-related harm. The vast majority (80%) of Kiwis drink moderately and responsibly, and as a nation, our per capita consumption is steadily declining and below the OECD average. But, we all have a part to play in reducing harmful drinking – that means everyone working together including government, health and education providers, and communities – and the industry stepping up to play its part in a team effort,” says Bridget MacDonald, NZABC’s Executive Director.
“Pragmatic actions like targeted education and support programmes are critical to bring about change and reduce harm. When asked, Kiwis said they strongly (81%) supported targeted support programmes for harmful drinkers. Having alcohol education programmes in schools was supported by 78% of people,” she says.
“The good news is we are seeing positive changes in our drinking culture, and in young people in particular – they are drinking less than ever before and less harmfully. But, we all have a role to play in continuing and accelerating these downward trends – we’ve been supporting ‘Smashed’ a theatre in schools programme to help young people to say no to alcohol, and social change organisation Cheers NZ! and interactive programmes like alcoholandme.org.nz to help people to make better decisions based on their personal circumstances, situation and lifestyle.
“The industry also pays an annual levy of about $11.5m to the Health Promotion Agency to fund awareness campaigns and around $1bn in excise tax on alcohol is paid to government each year. More work needs to be done to accelerate the changes we are seeing, but an all-of-society approach will help us make bigger changes,” says Bridget.
The research shows Kiwis also supported deterrents for anti-social behaviour. Two-thirds supported heavier fines for drunk and disorderly behaviour, and over 50% supported issuing on the spot fines for minor alcohol-related offences. Eighty-four per cent support confiscating cars from repeat drink drivers.
“Part of the all-of-society approach is also about not tolerating anti-social behaviour or accepting the abuse of alcohol as an excuse for it – we need to send strong signals when behaviour is not okay. We can become a safe and social New Zealand through targeted education and support programmes to help Kiwis to make better decisions around alcohol,” says Bridget.
Call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, free txt 8681, or visit alcoholdrughelp.org.nz.
Need more information?
- • 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 ten 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.
Formed in early 2018, the NZ Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC) is a pan-industry group that speaks for those Kiwis who want to see a fair and balanced approach to alcohol attitudes, laws and regulation in New Zealand. At NZABC, we believe partnerships between local and central government, communities, and the alcohol sector, along with great education, are the best ways to reduce harm and maximise enjoyment from alcohol for everyone.
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.
- • 84% of New Zealanders support taking an all-of-society approach when it comes to reducing harmful drinking.
- • 81% supported targeted support programmes for harmful drinkers.
- • 78% support alcohol education programmes in schools.
- • 67% supported heavier fines for drunk and disorderly behaviour.
- • 54% supported issuing on the spot fines for minor alcohol-related offences.
- • 84% support confiscating cars from repeat drink drivers.