News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Hazardous drinkers top three-quarters of a million

Number of hazardous drinkers now tops three-quarters of a million

Alcohol Healthwatch is disappointed, but not surprised, with new statistics from the Ministry of Health showing no change in New Zealand’s hazardous drinking culture.

Results from the large New Zealand Health Survey show that one in every five New Zealanders aged 15 years and over was classified as a hazardous drinker.

Executive Director Dr Nicki Jackson says “with our business-as-usual approach to reducing alcohol harm in our country, we now have an estimated 775,000 hazardous drinkers. This burden will add to the massive strain that our Emergency Departments and hospitals already face and places us all at risk of being harmed. Our drinking culture continues to hinder the huge potential of our amazing country.”

The data show that males (27%) were twice as likely as females (13%) to be hazardous drinkers and that more than one-third (38%) of young males aged 18 to 24 years and one-quarter (25%) of young females were hazardous drinkers.

Dr Jackson says “We still have high levels of hazardous drinking amongst our middle-aged and older age groups. Persistent inequities also remain with Māori women being twice as likely to be hazardous drinkers than European women. It is not right that more than 800 New Zealanders die prematurely every year as a result of their alcohol use.”

“With the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry due to report this month, these statistics should be sobering news. We know that almost two-thirds of all New Zealanders who committed suicide had a trace or more of alcohol in their system. Alcohol use is the second strongest risk factor for suicide, following depression.”

“We cannot accept a business-as-usual approach to the most harmful drug in our society. With more hazardous drinkers in our country, we are all placed at risk of harm. Other countries, such as Ireland, are taking strong and effective action on alcohol to protect their people. It is time that we followed suit.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Floorball: NZ To Host World Cup Of Floorball In 2022

In a major coup for a minnow nation in the European-dominated sport of floorball, New Zealand has won the rights to host one of the sport’s marque international events. More>>

National Voyage Continues: Tuia 250 Ends

Tuia 250 has unleashed an unstoppable desire to keep moving forward and continue the kōrero about who we are, say the co-chairs of the Tuia 250 National Coordinating Committee, Dame Jenny Shipley and Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. More>>


Te Papa: New Chief Executive From Its Own Staff

Courtney Johnston has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Te Papa. Ms Johnston will take up the role in December 2019. Since its founding, Te Papa has had a dual leadership model, and as Tumu Whakarae|Chief Executive, Johnston will share the leadership with Kaihautū Dr Arapata Hakiwai. More>>


Over 150 Productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has Launched

The upcoming festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and more! More>>





  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland