Auckland Regional Public Health Service
Ratonga Hauora-ā-Iwi ō Tāmaki Makaurau
Championing an Auckland free from alcohol-related harm
Alcohol is our mostly widely used recreational drug and causes significant harm to individuals, whānau and communities.
The way alcohol is viewed, sold, supplied and marketed in New Zealand influences how much and the way people drink alcohol. Through changing these areas we can reduce the harm caused by alcohol and improve the health of every person living in Tāmaki Makaurau.
Explore the impact of alcohol on our community, and how we can prevent the harm it causes.
Alcohol-related harms are both:
Alcohol harm disproportionately impacts Māori and Pacific peoples, young people and those living in lower socio-economic areas.
Alcohol advertising and promotion normalises alcohol consumption and influences attitudes, knowledge and awareness of alcohol, particularly in young people and children. Evidence shows that exposure to alcohol advertising causes adolescents to take up drinking at an earlier age, and drink to a heavier extent.
Trading hours contribute to alcohol related harm by increasing the hours that alcohol is available. A recent systematic review of 22 studies showed harm from alcohol increases when trading hours of on-licences are extended. Restrictions to trading hours for both on and off-licences were followed by decreases in assault, unintentional injury and drink-driving offences.
Density of alcohol outlets has a significant impact on the level of alcohol-related harm in an area.
Raising alcohol prices is internationally recognised as an effective way to reduce alcohol related harm. Policies that increase the price of alcohol delay the start of drinking, reduce the volume consumed per occasion by young people and have a greater effect on heavy drinkers.
ARPHS, alongside the three Auckland region DHBs (Auckland DHB, Counties Manukau DHB and Waitematā DHB), are working together to influence the social and environmental determinants of hazardous alcohol use and improve access to healthcare services for people experiencing alcohol-related harm.
Position statements published by the Auckland DHBs, informed and endorsed by ARPHS, set out recommended changes to enhance New Zealand’s alcohol policy and legislation to minimise harm and give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Auckland DHB position statement: Reducing harms from hazardous alcohol use in our communities
Counties Manukau position statement: Reducing harms from alcohol in our communities
Waitematā DHB Alcohol Position Statement: Reducing harms from hazardous alcohol use in our communities
The DHBs of New Zealand have also published a combined statement calling for action to reduce alcohol-related harm in Aotearoa.
ARPHS has a statutory role in ensuring that the harms from excessive alcohol consumption are minimised in Auckland.
Last updated 13.12.2022