Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Drunk parents have disastrous impacts on children

Drunk parents have disastrous impacts on children

Parents who drink too much can have a disastrous impact on their children, from neglecting basic needs to causing life-long physical harm, says Children's Commissioner John Angus.

The Commissioner is pleased ALAC has chosen this as a theme for their advertising campaign 'Ease up on the drink'. The latest advert in the series screened last night and depicts a father who drinks to excess and is then unable to spend time with his son the following day.

"It's easy to think the only way young people are harmed by alcohol is by getting drunk and causing mayhem on Courtney Place or other drinking spots.

But the impact of alcohol on children and young people is a lot more pervasive and complex than that.

"From being neglected and left in a car by a parent at a party, to suffering physical abuse from a parent who has drunk too much, the impacts are far reaching and potentially disastrous.

"Parents' alcohol abuse can lead to physical abuse, sexual abuse and a failure to keep children safe from harm. It can cause permanent scars on a child's life, and sadly in some cases, it can have a lethal impact.

"For example, research by the New Zealand Fire Service found that alcohol was a direct or indirect factor in nearly half (44 per cent) of residential fire deaths between 1997 and 2003 Some of those who died were innocent children, at the mercy of caregivers in the house who had been drinking prior to the fire.

"Violence in families is also associated with the abuse of alcohol. A 2001 survey found that 30 per cent of victims of intimate partner abuse thought their partner was affected by alcohol or drugs during the incident. Again, innocent children were likely to have witnessed or been subject to violence in these cases.

"But as seen in the ALAC advert, there are also more subtle ways alcohol hurts children. A father who is unable to go to his child's football game because he has a hangover is neglecting the fundamental emotional needs of that child.

"Talking about alcohol misuse within families is a good start, and I applaud ALAC for spreading the message that is ok to tell a family member that you're worried about their drinking.

"However, I would like to see more done to make parents accountable for their alcohol abuse. As I outlined in my submission to the Law Commission on the reform of New Zealand's liquor laws, I want to see more emphasis on treatment options for parents with alcohol problems and increased penalties for serious breaches of the liquor laws where there has been an impact on children.

"My Young People¹s Reference Group (YPRG) would also like to see parents made more accountable for the devastating impact their drinking has on their children. They've suggested that an increase in tax on alcohol could be put back into education and treatment options for parents and children."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Triggered The Carnage In Gaza

At last count, 195 Palestinians have reportedly died in the latest round of violence, 55 of them children. Roughly ten times that number have been wounded, and thousands made homeless. On the Israeli side, 8 people have died from rockets fired from Gaza. The imbalance in casualties reflects the vast gap in weaponry between the two sides. The Israelis are carrying out air strikes with impunity on densely populated civilian neighbourhoods... More>>


Budget 2021: Boosts Carbon Neutral Government Commitment

· Budget 2021 delivers $67.4 million to support the transition to a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 · State Sector Decarbonisation Fund receives significant boost to support more schools, hospitals and other government organisations to replace ... More>>

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>


Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>





InfoPages News Channels