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Alcohol Industry Supports Government’s Targeted Approach To Healthcare Reform

The NZ Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC) supports the Government’s targeted approach to primary and community healthcare announced today by the Minister of Health, Hon. Andrew Little, in response to the Health and Disability System Review.

“The majority (81.5%) of New Zealanders drink moderately and responsibly. But we know that one in five drink in a way that can be harmful to themselves or others, and that’s not okay. We also know that Māori are over-represented in some health statistics, including Māori being 1.8 times more likely than non-Māori to drink hazardously. That’s also not okay,” says Bridget MacDonald, NZABC’s Executive Director. [i]

“Our industry research shows that 75% of New Zealanders agree that targeted education and support programmes are the best way to reduce harmful drinking. The Government’s focus on working with communities to deliver targeted healthcare will be a positive step foward. The research also shows 83% of Kiwis agree that all of society has a role in reducing alcohol-related harm. That means central and local government, healthcare and education providers, local communities, and the alcohol industry working together to play their part,” Bridget says.[ii]

“Kiwis are making positive changes in their attitudes and behaviours toward alcohol. They are making better decisions around alcohol based on their personal circumstances, situation and their lifestyle. As a result, we see a general decline in hazardous drinking, fewer younger people are drinking, a decrease in total consumption, and our per capita consumption is below the OECD average,” Bridget says.[iii]

“While we see some positive changes to our drinking culture, there is still work to be done to increase momentum and accelerate these changes. An all-of-society approach, targeted education and support programmes are critical to changing attitudes and behaviours and helping people make better decisions around alcohol,” says Bridget.

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