As a lot of us head back to work a just released survey has found that three-quarters of New Zealanders say they are comfortable with drinking being part of normal Kiwi social occasions.

The annual survey 1 by the NZ Alcohol Beverages Council aims to understand New Zealanders’ views on how alcohol is perceived. One question asked what respondents thought of beer, wine or spirits being available at social occasions.

“Interestingly when you split this by gender the outcome is almost exactly the same – 76%  agreement for women and 75% for men,” says NZABC Deputy Chair, Robert Brewer.

“And this result has been consistent since the annual survey was started four years ago,” says Robert.

In another part of the survey respondents were asked a series of questions to see if they thought our drinking habits and outcomes had gotten better or worse.

“The stand-out misunderstanding here was that almost 50% of people thought our drink driving stats hadn’t improved when they have almost halved since 2012/13 (2012/13 – 23,346 drink driving convictions: 13,046 in 2021/22).

“And the other perennial misconception is the belief that New Zealanders drink more than most other countries when in fact we sit at about the OECD average per capita consumption level with countries such as France, Australia, UK and Germany all drinking more than us (see Figure 1 below),” says Robert.

“But at least this year only 24% didn’t realise there is an excise tax charged on beer, wine and spirits. This is a 6% percent improvement from last year,” he said.