Health Coalition Aotearoa believes the government made a mistake allowing online sales of spirits during the lockdown and recommends the decision be reversed.

The Health Coalition believes it is unfair to allow increased alcohol availability at a time of considerable stress, particularly for poorer families, and when indicators of family harm have increased. “While its easy to think of people sipping an occasional gin and tonic, that’s not how most alcohol is consumed in New Zealand. Almost half is consumed in very heavy drinking occasions, the sort that increase disinhibition and the risk of violence’, Professor Sally Casswell said “There is every reason to expect much of the spirits and RTDs ordered online during the lockdown will be consumed in the same way”.

An open letter has been sent to the Prime Minister and other relevant ministers for their consideration. On behalf of the Expert Panel on Alcohol and the Interim Board of the Health Coalition Aotearoa.

For further information contact:

Selah Hart, Hāpai Te Hauora – Maori Public Health
021 08327944

Colin Tukiutonga, University of Auckland
021 2228275

David Rawiri Ratu
0278 333 350

Sally Casswell
021 655346