MEDIA RELEASE 4 December 2020

The New Zealand Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC) says the much-anticipated first weekend of summer has finally arrived, and there are some things we can do to help keep the summer safe and social for everyone. The majority of Kiwis are moderate and responsible drinkers when they’re out socialising at a party, BBQ, or in a bar or restaurant and there are some handy tips to help make the most of the festive summer season.

“Kiwis enjoy getting together with friends and family over summer and often will have a drink as part of their social occasion. We want to see people looking after themselves and each other whenever they are having a drink, whether it’s a beer and burger after work, a glass of wine with dinner, or sharing a crate with mates at a BBQ,” says Bridget MacDonald, NZABC’s Executive Director.

“The most recent New Zealand Health Survey shows the majority (80%) of Kiwis drink alcohol moderately and responsibly. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a summer drink as part of a balanced lifestyle – but we need to keep it safe and social, and think about how to make those good times last longer. A good rule of thumb is ‘Go no, low or slow’ – it’s always okay to choose a no or low alcohol drink, or if you choose to drink then simply sip and savour your drink slowly,” she says.

“Like most New Zealanders, the industry supports responsible consumption and has zero-tolerance for harmful or binge drinking and anti-social behaviour. Anyone welcoming summer by participating in ‘Crate Day’ should moderate their drinking to keep the day safe and social. That means sharing your crate with your mates, choosing no or low alcohol options, enjoying your drink with food, keeping hydrated with water, looking out for your mates, and planning a safe way home – and if you’re heading out into the sun don’t forget to slip, slop, slap as well,” Bridget says.

In addition to encouraging people to consider the range of no and low alcohol options available to them, the industry supports a number of educational programmes and promotional activities that promote moderate and safe consumption of alcohol, including and that help people to understand what a standard drink is and how to make better drinking decisions.

Tips to stay safe and social over summer

  • Know what a standard drink looks like and keep an eye on how many you are drinking.
  • A good rule of thumb is ‘Go no, low or slow’. It’s okay to choose no or low alcohol drinks. If you choose to drink, pace yourself and enjoy your drink slowly.
  • Eat when you are drinking.
  • Drink water in between drinks to stay hydrated.
  • Have a plan to get home safely. Leave the car at home.
  • Support others to stay safe and social. If you are with friends or family, keep an eye them. If you’re hosting, make sure there’s plenty of food, no- and low-alcohol options, and water available.

Need more information?

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

Need help?

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