New Zealand drinking patterns

Overall

  • The proportion of New Zealanders aged 15 years or more who drank alcohol in the past year was 79% in 2017/18 (Ministry of Health, 2018).
  • In 2017/18, 25% of New Zealanders aged 15 years or more who drank alcohol in the past year has a potentially hazardous drinking pattern, with men (32%) more likely to drink hazardously than women (17%) (Ministry of Health, 2017). 
  • In 2016/17, 15% of past-year drinkers consumed a large amount of alcohol (six or more standard drinks on a drinking occasion) at least weekly, with men (21%) more likely to consume a large about weekly than women (9%) (Ministry of Health, 2017).
  • One in five women who had been pregnant in the past 12 months reported that they had consumed alcohol while pregnant (Ministry of Health, 2015).

Young people

  • The proportion of 15 to 17-year-olds who drank alcohol in the past year dropped from 75% in 2006/07 to 56% in 2016/17 (Ministry of Health, 2017).
  • The proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds who drank alcohol in the past year in 2016/17 was 84% (Ministry of Health, 2017).
  • The rate of hazardous drinking among past year drinkers aged 15 to 17 years in 2016/17 was 14% (Ministry of Health, 2017).
  • The rate of hazardous drinking among past year drinkers aged 18 to 24 years dropped from 45% in 2015/16 to 39% in 2016/17 (Ministry of Health, 2017).
  • Among all past year drinkers, a potentially hazardous drinking pattern was most common in people aged 18 to 24 years (Ministry of Health, 2017).

Māori

  • The proportion of Māori aged 15 years or more who drank alcohol in the past year dropped from 84% in 2006/07 to 80% in 2017/18 (Ministry of Health, 2018).
  • One in three (42%) Māori aged 15 years or more who drank alcohol in the past year has a potentially hazardous drinking pattern, with Māori men (48%) more likely to drink hazardously than Māori women (36%) (Ministry of Health, 2017).

Pacific peoples

  • In 2017/18, 54% of Pacific people aged 15 years or more drank alcohol in the past year (Ministry of Health, 2018).
  • One in three (39%) Pacific people aged 15 years or more who drank alcohol in the past year has a potentially hazardous drinking pattern (Ministry of Health, 2017).