New Zealand drinking patterns

Overall

  • About four in five (79%) of adults aged 15 years or more drank alcohol in the past year (in 2017/18) (Ministry of Health, 2018).
  • In 2017/18, 25% of adults 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 (in 2012/13) 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 57% in 2017/18 (Ministry of Health, 2018).
  • The proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds who drank alcohol in the past year in 2017/18 was 84% (Ministry of Health, 2018).
  • 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 in 2016/17 (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 (in 2016/17) had 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).

Asian

Where people live

  • Despite fewer people in the most deprived areas (compared to those in the least deprived areas) having drank in the past year, adults in the most deprived areas were 1.3 times as likely to be hazardous drinkers as adults in the least deprived areas, after adjusting for age, sex and ethnic differences (Ministry of Health, 2018).