Take a look around your home
- How visible is alcohol?
- How accessible is alcohol?
Consider your family, friends and regular visitors to your place including children, young people, anyone who is pregnant or wishing to become pregnant, anyone who is experiencing or has experienced alcohol-related conditions.
Consider how you could reduce visibility and accessibility of alcohol such as storing alcohol in cupboards, higher locations, etc.
If you are comfortable doing so, you can discuss these issues with members of your family/whānau and other groups you are associated with, and assist them in making their homes safer.
You could talk with your family/whānau about making your home an alcohol-free zone.
Although Pacific communities are commonly defined by the collective term - Pacific or Pacific peoples - every Pacific community is likely to be different
The common Pacific ethnicities in New Zealand are: Samoan, Cook Island Maori, Tongan, Niuean, Fijian, Tokelauan and Tuvaluan. Each group comprises their own sets of cultural norms, customs, languages values and lifestyles.
Pacific people from their island of origin may hold different views and have different lifestyles to those who were born in New Zealand. According to Census 2018, 66.4% of NZ Pacific population were born in New Zealand.
The different religious backgrounds among Pacific peoples often means that there are large differences in alcohol consumption and views relating to alcohol.
Meet the need of diverse Pacific ethnic groups
- Involve key leaders, youth leaders and other ministers involved
- Identify parties concerned and parties affected
- Map out the cultural, spiritual and social context (check out the Fonua model)
- Identify and apply related values
- enable community to deliver at least part of the programme so that autonomy. This can enhance their leadership skills and improve sustainability
- Some Pacific-only churches have multiple Pacific Island groups. Therefore, understand the key language(s) used in this church.
An everything-on-the-table approach
- Leadership, communication and relationship-building are key elements for successful church-based health promotion programmes.
- Involve consultation with the whole community, including church and community leaders and youth. This should be done in the planning phase of a programme before launching/delievering the programme.
- Involve churches in recruitment of the participants.
Ensure that the activities do not lead to self-doubt and negative outcome such as guilt and depression.
Provide life-skills education and support to enhance motivation, self-management and strengthen church community relationships.
- If the programme incorporates people already in the church who might have skills/background in key areas, this would add more 'ownership' for churches into this programme.
Develop ongoing plans so that the programme as a long-term future.
Review and reflect on progress.
As drinking may not be sanctioned by the church, it is important to take this into account.
It has been found that there can be big differences in relation to views around alcohol - some church members see it as a way to enjoy themselves whilst others may feel guilty and uncomfortable about drinking alcohol.
Churches can be both a socially- and culturally-appropriate setting for health promotion interventions. Churches are significant places for Pacific communities and have regular access to young people, their families and their peers.
Most health promotion interventions in churches in New Zealand have focused on lifestyle changes such as obesity prevention and weight loss [see here, here and here]. These interventions have been shown to work in Pacific communities.
It is important to tailor any health promotion programme so that it is culturally appropriate. More will be discussed in Get Prepared. As such, it is crucial to engage and gain support from church ministers and leaders in order to make your programmes more visible and appropriate to the church community. Collaboration between churches, church ministers and leaders and the health sectors are important.
Please check out PACIFIC HEALTH MODELS
Spiritual factors and weekly church attendance have been identified as protecting Pacific students from binge drinking.
The level of binge drinking appears to decrease as students have stronger links to religion or spirituality, with those who attend church weekly being more likely to be non-binge drinkers.
In another study of Pacific young people aged 15-25 years, the following factors were found to protect young people from drinking:
- their commitment to the teaching of abstinence from church or religious faith;
- their awareness of the belief that their actions as children of Pacific parents affects the reputation and standing of their Pacific family and community (e.g. church).
This study identified churches as one of the key institutions that are influential to Pacific young people, even if Pacific young people are only transporting family members to and from churches.
The other two institutions are family and peers. In the words of one of the young people in the focus-group discussions “Island parents, they’re high on church. They’ll get really disappointed if you don’t go to church every Sunday”.
The researchers also stated that young people may learn the negative risks of alcohol consumption through the church. They further stated that Pacific young people ‘negotiated’ through these institutions for their decisions on whether to drink alcohol, drink excessively or not at all.
Pacific parents also regard churches to be an important setting for adolescents. In a study of around 950 NZ parents with children aged between 12-17 years (including 119 Pacific parents), more than one-fifth of the Pacific parents considered churches to play a key role in helping adolescents to deal with alcohol-related decisions, compared with 4% of parents among the general population.
In the 2018 Census, 77% of Pacific people identified as having a religion.
|Religious affiliation||2006 (%)||2013 (%)||2018 (%)|
|Māori religions, beliefs, and philosophies||1.4||1.1||1|
|Spiritualism and New Age religions||0.2||0.2||0.2|
|Other religions, beliefs, and philosophies||0.5||0.5||0.7|
|Object to answering||5.1||4.1||6.3|
Churches can be key settings to engage Pacific groups - including young people, their families and their peers. Churches are also considered to be credible sources of information for Pacific communities Church ministers, church leaders and youth leaders play key roles, in particular among young people.
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, and to a lesser extent the (2) category.
Pacific communities experience a disproportionate amount of alcohol-related harm compared to the general population. This is in part due to the prevalence of heavy drinking. This pattern of drinking among Pacific population groups often results in more alcohol-related harms, including (from here and here):
- Intentional injuries such as violence and self-harm
- Unintentional injuries resulting from accidents;
- Relationship problems;
- Problems at work;
- Neglect of family responsibilities;
- Embarrassment from indulging in unusual behaviours.
- Alcohol-related diseases or health-conditions at later stages in life.
For Pacific young people, almost one in four Pacific students reported experiencing alcohol-related harm. The most common reported alcohol-related problems were: doing things that could get them into trouble (29%), having unsafe sex (28%), having friends and family talk with them about cutting down on their alcohol use (26%), and getting an injury as a result of their alcohol use (25%) . Alcohol use also influenced their performance at school (20%).
Similarly to Pacific adults, fewer Pacific young people drink alcohol compared with the general population but those who drink alcohol often consume a high amount.
The Youth'19 Rangatahi Survey found that a smaller proportion of Pacific youth reported binge drinking at least once in the past 4 weeks (13% compared to 24% for Pākehā and other European youth). The prevalence among Pacific males (12.7%) and females (12.9%) was similar.
Pacific youth drinking has declined in the last few decades, especially among males. From 2012 to 2019, the proportion of Pacific males who reported binge drinking in the past week reduced from 21% in 2012 to 13% in 2019. In 2019, Pacific youth from low deprivation areas (higher income neighbourhoods) reported higher rates of binge drinking (23%) than those from high deprivation areas (10%).
Many Pacific people do not drink
In general, Pacific adults are less likely than non-Pacific adults to have consumed alcohol in the past year.
In 2019/20, 63.5% of Pacific adults had consumed alcohol in the past year, which is significantly lower than the total New Zealand population (81.5%). Among men, 70.9% consumed alcohol and 57.5% of Pacific women. Non-drinking is also more common among those who report being born overseas than in New Zealand.
One change that is occurring is that more Pacific women are choosing to drink. Whilst the majority of Pacific women were previously abstainers, now the majority of Pacific women are drinkers.
Pacific non-drinkers have been shown to be more likely to say they don’t drink because of religious reasons (21%) and family reasons or commitments (10%) compared to non-Māori/non-Pacific non-drinkers (11% and 7.0% respectively).
Among the diverse Pacific population, Cook Islanders and Niueans have been found to be more likely to drink than those of Samoan or Tongan ethnicity.
Gender differences also exist among Tongans, with men being significantly more likely to drink than women.
****** For more information on Pacific people's drinking, read this Health Promotion Agency report TAEAO MALAMA Alcohol use among Pacific peoples
Among those that drink, hazardous drinking is common
Among drinkers in 2019/20, around 4 in 10 (38.4%) of Pacific past-year drinkers were classified as hazardous drinkers (AUDIT score equals or greater than 8). This prevalence was higher among Pacific men (48.6%) than women (28.2%).
In 2019/20, Pacific adults drinkers were 1.38 times more likely to be hazardous drinkers than non-Pacific drinkers, after taking into account age and sex.
In comparison, the prevalence of hazardous drinking among Māori drinkers was 43.4%, 26.0% in European drinkers and 8.4% in Asian drinkers.
Among all men (including drinkers and non-drinkers), the rates (%) of hazardous drinking are below:
Among women (including drinkers and non-drinkers), the rates (%) of hazardous drinking are below: