Our Drinking Culture

Alcohol / waipiro causes significant harm to individuals, families and our society at large. It is our most widely used recreational drug and of all drugs available in society, causes the most harm. Check out the following sections to learn more about the way that New Zealanders drink, the impact of alcohol/waipiro on our communities and society, and the powerful influence of the multi-national alcohol companies that operate in New Zealand.

Drinking in New Zealand

In 2020/21, one in every five New Zealand adults were hazardous drinkers, placing themselves and others at risk of harm.


Alcohol harm in New Zealand

Although a large proportion of the harm from alcohol arises from heavy drinking, there is no safe level of alcohol use.


Our Drinking Environment

Our environment has a huge influence on our drinking. Alcohol is available for sale from everyday settings, is heavily advertised and has become more affordable over time.


Cost of alcohol to society

We all pay the costs of alcohol harm. It significantly impacts the budgets of our core services - health, justice, police, welfare, and ACC.


The alcohol industry in New Zealand

The majority of alcohol sold in NZ is produced by multi-national alcohol companies. Profits return overseas. Action on alcohol must prioritise the wellbeing of New Zealanders ahead of the profits of alcohol companies.


For more information, check out the Health Promotion Agency website  Alcohol and your body    Alcohol and its effects