On the spot - take action immediately
Stopping someone from getting behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking could save their life and the lives of innocent others.
If it is an emergency - call 111 and provide the details to emergency services.
If it is safe to do so, take their keys off them and offer to find them a safe ride home.
If the risk of drink driving is associated with a licensed premise - advise the licensee or duty manager of the risk and remind them of their duties to support safe transport options.
If the person has been drinking on a licensed premise and appears intoxicated then report the incident to the local licensing team and/or Police. See the Licensing section for more information.
Be a positive role model
Always drive sober and encourage members of your family/whanau to do likewise.
If you are hosting a family/whanau gathering or event, be a responsible host – e.g. make it alcohol-free, or have a range of alcohol-free options available, arrange a place for people to stay or a safe ride home if they’ve been drinking. See Places and Events for more information on planning events.
Spread the word
Take opportunities as they arise to discuss drink-driving, its risks and consequences with your family/whanau.
Develop some safety protocols/kawa with your family/whānau. These can focus on how to avoid the risks of drinking and driving, and having a plan to get home safely should that be necessary.
Start a group or if you are already part of a group or network you can plan initiatives to reduce drinking and driving in your community. For more information on doing this see Mobilising Others.
Assist people to get the help they need
If you have any concerns about someone you know who is drinking and driving assist them or their family to get professional help.
Help can be reached at your GP/local medical centre, school counsellor or local Community Alcohol and Drug Service.
The Alcohol and Drug Helpline is a useful starting point for anyone who has concerns about their own or others drinking. They will be able to support you towards the best course of action and local services including youth services - 0800 787 797.
Advocate to increase the number of random breath tests
To ensure our drink driving limits are effective, we need to enforce them. However, random breath test numbers have been declining substantially and we need to increase them to the point of one test per year per licensed driver. That would mean around 3 million tests per year. A lot more than what we are currently doing.
Speak to your local MP about this issue.
Change the wider environment to change our drinking culture
By reducing the amount of alcohol consumed, we can help reduce drink driving.
The most effective measures to reduce the amount we drink are listed below. Read each section to find out how you can take action on these environmental factors that support low-risk drinking.
You can mobilise others to:
New Zealand has a Vision Zero approach to road deaths - where no-one is killed or seriously injured in road crashes. This cannot be achieved without strong action on alcohol.
Drink driving doesn't just harm the driver - passengers and other road users (including pedestrians) are also killed or injured in alcohol-related road crashes.
Between 2017 and 2019, for every 100 alcohol or drug-impaired drivers or riders who died in road crashes, 27 of their passengers and 32 other road users died with them.
The risk of crashing increases with the amount of alcohol in the blood at the time of driving. Road traffic crashes involving alcohol are more likely to result in death or severe injuries.
It is great that you want to take action to protect your family / whānau. Here's some tips to start your journey.
Alcohol is a toxin – This is particularly important in relation to children and young people. They will be more affected by any alcohol consumption they consume. Higher strength alcohol products, such as spirits, present a greater risk in relation to poisoning.
Alcohol products and packaging are part of the marketing – Alcohol producers and marketers aim to make their products as appealing as possible to current and potential consumers. Young peoples’ exposure to alcohol marketing is known to speed up the onset of drinking and increase the amounts consumed by those already drinking.
Exposure to alcohol advertising often occurs in homes - a substantial proportion of exposure to alcohol advertising occurs in private homes. This may occur via television, computers/tablet screens and mobile devices.
Almost every New Zealand drinker consumes alcohol in their home or in another’s home. The COVID-19 pandemic has likely embedded home drinking for many New Zealanders.
Family homes play a major role in children and young person's exposure to alcohol. Many parents report being drunk or tipsy in front of their children.
Children report negative feelings when being around their parents who are drinking.
The home may also be an avenue for exposure to alcohol sponsorship - through merchandise / posters / etc.
There are many actions that can be taken at home to protect family/whānau members and visitors.
Alcohol in the home
Between 2012 and 2013, over 9 in 10 adult drinkers (96%) had consumed alcohol in their home or in another’s home in New Zealand. In 2010 in New Zealand, 73% of the total volume of absolute alcohol was consumed in private homes (own home, other's homes).
Therefore, the home has a significant influence on children's and young people's experiences and exposures to alcohol. How they see drinking happen at home will become their expectations and own norms for drinking.
As seen in the young people section of this website, adolescents commonly report consuming alcohol with friends (83%) followed by family (53%). Many more students who live in deprived neighbourhoods (59%) report drinking with their family when compared to those living in the least deprived neighbourhood (49%).
In a UK survey of 1,000 parents, almost one-third (29%) of parents reported having been drunk in front of their child; more than half (51%) of parents reported being tipsy in front of their kids.
In this study, almost one-third (29%) of parents thought it was okay to get drink in front of their kids as long as it did not happen regularly. The same survey also found that children could feel negative towards parents' drinking behaviours. For example, around one in five (18%) of children had felt embarasssed and one in 10 (11%) had felt worried.
Last but not least, it is known that one of the factors that contributes to earlier drinking and progression to binge drinking in adolescents is owning alcohol-branded merchandise in homes. This merchandise is commonly found in home settings, as shown in New Zealand research. Please check out the subsection on advertising and sponsorship for more information about exposure to alcohol marketing in our home.
“Like alcohol is easily accessible to buy and get, see coming from Mangere and Southside,
there is a liquor store in every corner especially in Otara, also they look at social media
like American gangs, American rap, they see and follow that hip hop culture, but the problem is that the youth are no knowing what their own culture is you know,
they are just following what the media portrays and they conform to it…stink buzz” (Fehoko, 2014)
We need to address the environmental factors that often cause a disproportionate impact of alcohol-related harm among Pacific communities. For example, alcohol is widely accessible where Pacific people live. Other factors include alcohol sponsorship in sport/club events. Therefore, it is important to also check out other sections on ActionPoint and take action accordingly.
Reducing alcohol-related harm by applying Pacific Health models
In additional to addressing the environmental factors, check out the following models/projects that utilise church settings to promote healthy lifestyles.
This includes Pacific Health models namely the Fonua model and the The Fonofale model. In the Auckland region, there are two major health promotion projects in Pacific churches. These models or projects often take a comprehensive approach and encourage partnership between church leaders, youth leaders, the whole congregation and health promoters. Therefore, it is important for you to talk to your local Public Health Unit at your District Health Board.
Check out PACIFIC HEALTH MODELS
In the Auckland region, there are two major health promotion projects in Pacific churches:
- Enua Ola is a community action project supporting church or community groups to establish health committees within their groups and strengthen communication networks. The aim of Enula Ola is to empower, educate and support Pacific people to lead physically active lifestyles and also to adopt healthier eating behaviours.
- The initiative is developed by the Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB) and there are currently 34 participating groups and Churches in the North Shore and West Auckland.
- Visit their facebook - https://www.facebook.com/enuaola2019/
Healthy Village Action Zones (HVAZ)
- The HVAZ is an initiative of the Auckland District Health Board with the aim to enable Pacific communities to make healthy lifestyle choices by means of collaborative action between key stakeholders (e.g. Primary Health Organisations, Pacific churches in the Auckland region) and support Pacific communities to develop their own solutions to their health priorities
- Healthy village action zones are set up within the district to support Pacific churches in setting up health committees and strengthen community networks. Parish Community Nurses are connected with primary health care organisations.
- Visit their page - http://www.adhb.govt.nz/planningandfunding/pacific%20health.htm
Applying for funding
Apart from seeking funding from your own denomination, you may consider applying for funding from charities commissions to support your projects (if your church is registered as a charity) - APPLYING FOR FUNDING
You may also talk to your local Public Health Unit for collaboration and funding opportunities.
Alcohol can be a sensitive issue in church as it links to its consequences such as intoxication, violence and sexual abuse.
Please take into account of both the biblical and religious context around alcohol
as these are the core beliefs and values of every churches.
You also need to understand and appreciate the importance of those beliefs and mission of a church.
- be culturally appropriate and holistic;
- be flexible in term of design inorder to cater for the diverse needs of Pacific ethnic groups;
- be based on the stories and narratives that are integral to the life of each Pacific community;
- have a working partnership between Pacific communities and service providers/government;
- take into account the wide range of harms created by alcohol misuse in the Pacific community;
- involve consultation with the whole Pacific community, including church and community leaders and youth.
"Alcohol is not a traditional part of the Pacific islands’ culture.
It was introduced to the Pacific by Western visitors such as whalers, traders and sailors, and rapidly adopted by Pacific men."
(Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand & Ministry of Health, 1997)
A significantly lower proportion of Pacific people drink alcohol when compared to non-Pacific people. However, those who drink do so more hazardously than non-Pacific drinkers.
In the 2018 Census, 77% of Pacific people said they were associated with a religion or a religious group. Pacific people have strong social and cultural ties with their family, churches and community. Active involvement in church protects young Pacific people from binge drinking.
Churches are a good setting to engage Pacific people in activities to enhance wellbeing.
An effective Healthy Marae approach
As described by Forster and Ratima, it is important that any programme:
- has the support of the local Māori community and facilitates community participation
- is controlled and delivered by Māori for Māori
- facilitates the development of the Māori health workforce
- reflects the needs, preferences and aspirations of the local Māori community
- takes a holistic approach to health which incorporates a whānau focus
- develops links with other healthy Marae programmes and builds on the experience of other programmes
- develops links with relevant agencies, in particular those which are potential sources of practical support and resources
If you want to engage your Marae in reducing alcohol-related harm, think about the following:
- There are likely to be different protocols across Marae for raising alcohol as an issue. You will need to find out what the protocol is in your Marae - there are different ways of doing things and getting the issue onto the agenda.
- Usually the process involves contacting a key person or champion in the Marae. They may be a mover or a shaker within the Marae. There may also be a Board or Committee member you could also talk to. This process may take time - be prepared to take small steps in your journey.
- It all starts with a genuine kōrero. From there the Marae leaders can consider their plan of action. Following this, a strategy or policy can be developed and implemented.
- You may also want to engage local health providers in mobilising action and/or providing support.
Examples of Marae policies on alcohol
Following tikanga wananga (a discussion on Marae customs and protocols), Marae have implemented policies that include:
- alcohol-free Marae - see here for an example
- no alcohol on Marae during tangihanga
- a permit requiring Marae committee approval for functions that involve alcohol
- a ban on driving after drinking on the Marae
- assistance and support to those identified with alcohol issues
These are just a few of the options to choose from.
Get help for those in need
There are dedicated kaupapa Māori alcohol and other drug services available. Click here to find services in your location.