4. Religion and spirituality can reduce the risk of hazardous drinking

Spirituality and religiosity are intrinsic and essential to many Pacific cultures [48-50].  In New Zealand, there is a high church affiliation (73%) among Pacific people, when compared to 44% among the total NZ population [53]. The following graph provides a more detailed breakdown of religious affilation among different Pacific ethnic groups in 2013 [53]. Please also check out the table for more information,


Click here to download a bigger graph

Churches can be key settings to engage Pacific groups - including young people, their families and their peers [4]. Churches are also considered to be credible sources of information for Pacific communities [56] . Church ministers, church leaders and youth leaders play key roles  [49,50,56], in particular among young people  [56]. 

Pacific peoples are involved in different types of churches which can be categorised as follow: (1). “Pacific-only” churches (e.g. Tongan Methodist churches, Samoan EFKS churches). In these churches, the dominant language spoken is Pacific Island language.(2). Mainstream churches (e.g. Life Church, modern charismatic and Pentecostal churches). Here, the dominant language spoken is English. There are important differences here. Government interventions into churches have focussed on churches in the number (1) category, not really the (2) category