At least 5% of premature death and disability in Aotearoa/New Zealand is attributable to alcohol. 

Alcohol causes harms that reduce social wellbeing.

We can create a society where alcohol causes minimal harm to people’s physical health, mental health, and general wellbeing; where families and wider society are free from the destructive impact that alcohol has on health, relationships, and life potential. 

Alcohol has huge impacts on health, contributes to violence and suicide and causes lifelong brain damage to unborn children. 

The harms disproportionately affect young people, Māori and the most socio-economically deprived families, increasing inequities. 

Despite this, successive governments have not implemented the evidence-based responses recommended by multiple national inquiries, placing the commercial interests of the alcohol industry ahead of our collective health.

HCA is committed to turning this situation around through advocacy for alcohol law reform. 

You can read more about our policy asks here and here.

Where should we be heading?

New Zealanders deserve an environment that supports health rather than one which relentlessly promotes alcohol products, and where the current harms and inequities are minimised. 

This will require strong political leadership that:

  • recognises the problems and persistent inequities caused by alcohol 
  • takes action on the core drivers of alcohol harm that can be changed: alcohol marketing, cheap prices and the disproportionate number of alcohol stores in our least well-off communities. 

Our priority is to comprehensively reform the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act to give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and implement policies shown to be effective in reducing harm from alcohol.  

How to reduce alcohol harm

HCA advocacy on alcohol is informed by the Rōpū Apaarangi Waipiro – Alcohol Expert Panel whose members are leaders in alcohol control research, policy and practice.

To read more about the health effects of alcohol and alcohol research visit: Alcohol ActionAlcohol HealthwatchCancer Society Te Whatu Ora | Health PromotionSHORE & Whariki Research Centre.