This is where I am going to try to crack the code, bust through the bullshit, make sense of the propaganda that are New Zealand Alcohol Statistics. Every time I read something the figures seem to be contradicting. Why can’t a figure stay the same. Science please.

How many New Zealanders drank alcohol in the last year (15+ years old)  (New Zealand drinking patterns)
84% – 2006/07 (Pop.4.1 million) – 3,444,000 drinkers
80% – 2011/12 (Pop.4.4 million) – 3,520,000 drinkers

(Current population of New Zealand)

Adults aged 16-64 had a drink in the last 12 months (New Zealand Health Survey)
85% – 2007/08
82% – 2012/13

Alcohol Available for Consumption in New Zealand: Year ended September 2013

Beer285.8 million litres (beer fell from 81.6% in 1996 to 61.4% in 2013 of available alcohol)
Wine106 million litres ( 22.8% – 2013 of available alcohol)
Spirits based drinks (RTD’s, etc) = 60.9 million litres (13.1%)
Spirits12.6 million litres (2.7%)

How Many Binge Drinkers In New Zealand?

(Define Binge Drinking – heavy episodic drinking – classified as more than 6 standard drinks on at least one occasion in the past 30 days) (Assumption 900,000 under 15 years old, population 4.5 million)
875,000 –  25% of New Zealand drinkers aged 12 to 65 typically drink large amounts – NZ Drug Foundations 2007/08 report
800,000 –
 hazardous drinkers, it is quite a gross exaggeration (as the scare mongers here use a different definition) David Farrar – 19 May 2014 – KiwiBlog
700,000 – Dr Geoff Robinson told his colleagues at The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) convention in Auckland on Monday 19 May 2014 – TV3 News
532,000 – Hazardous Drinking in 2011/12: Findings from the New Zealand Health Survey
441,000 – 12.6% – Ministry of Health, 2009
350,000 – “Mr Roger Brooking, Wellington drug and alcohol counsellor, says 10 per cent of Kiwi drinkers get through nearly half of all alcohol consumed” – New Zealand’s $16b hangover 13 December 2008
196,000 – 5.6% – WHO 2014 Alcohol & Health Report

1,340,000 – 57% of drinkers get drunk once a year (59% 2007/08) New Zealand Health Survey* – Kiwis slowing down on booze – 1 March 2015
238,000 – 8.4% of drinkers 15 to 75+ get drunk at least once a week. New Zealand Health Survey* – Kiwis slowing down on booze – 1 March 2015
(* this article seems to be quoting from the previous years New Zealand Health Survey 2013/14, or is it a different survey?)

Why are all these studies and surveys offering different results?

Is “Binge Drinking” = “Intoxication” = “0.08 BAC”
Therefore if you consume food while drinking and your BAC does not go above 0.08, but you consume more than 6 standard drinks is it still considered binge drinking?

Am I A Binge Drinker?

What is Binge Drinking?
– more than 6 standard drinks for males or 4 for females on a drinking occasion, at least once a week – HPA
– “heavier drinking occasions” – in which a woman consumes 6 or more drinks and a man 8 or more drinks.
 – NZ Drug Foundations 2007/08 report
– classified as more than 6 standard drinks on at least one occasion in the past 30 days – WHO 2014 Alcohol & Health Report

Alcohol Related Deaths per Year in New Zealand

1000 – Dr Geoff Robinson told his colleagues at The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) convention in Auckland on Monday 19 May 2014 – TV3 News
about 1000 – Dr Geoff Robinson, Wellington Hospital chief medical officer and drug and alcohol specialist – New Zealand’s $16b hangover 13 December 2008
802 – 
Plea to govt post election: crack down on alcohol An Otago University study last year found – 5 June 2014
800 – Carnage after dark in central Auckland – TV3 News 19 May 2014
520 – “As long as we have about 10 New Zealanders dying every week…” National Addiction Centre director Doug Sellman – Kiwis not the worst bingers
461 – 802 deaths less 341 fewer deaths from moderate drinking – Plea to govt post election: crack down on alcohol An Otago University study last year found – 5 June 2014

Foetal alcohol syndrome (FASD) per year in New Zealand

up to 3000 – ‘3000 babies affected’ by mothers’ drinking 19 May 2014

New Zealand Social Cost from Alcohol

as high as $16 billion – New Zealand’s $16b hangover 13 December 2008
$4.9 billion in 2005/06 (Berl 2009)
$735 million (Law Commission, 2009, p168)

Key Dates

New Zealand first liquor license – 30 October 1840

Start of 6 O’Clock Closing (Swill) – December 1917 – ‘temporary’ wartime measure

End of 6 O’Clock Closing (Swill) – 9 October 1967

End of 10 O’Clock Closing –
Sale of Alcohol in Supermarkets – 1 December 1999
Lowering Drink Age from 20 to 18 – 1 December 1999

Economic Analysis of Auckland Council’s Draft Local Alcohol Policy

PREPARED FOR Hospitality New Zealand (Auckland)


How much beer is drunk in New Zealand?


Drink Driving New Zealand

  • Police conducted more than 3 million breath tests last year, up from 1.7 million five years earlier according to figures provided to The Dominion Post last month

  • There was a drop in drink-driving convictions from 30,976 in 2009 to 23,024 in 2013


Wellington Hospital Weekend Alcohol Related Admissions
84 – New Zealand’s $16b hangover 13 December 2008

Wellington Sevens
at its peak, it brought in $15 million in economic benefits to Wellington.

6 arrests (based on crowd size this number similar to previous years)
58 evicted (day one)
35 treated by Wellington Free Ambulance (day one)
(note crowd was only 42% of previous years sellouts 14,000 Saturday, 15,500 Sunday)


20 arrest in stadium and 37 in city
270 ejected
Hospital – 187 patients – (Usually 140 patients treated on a Friday night) (+47)
169 patients Saturday
An extra 160 police officers have been deployed in the CBD.

16 arrests in stadium
67 evicted from stadium

Hospital – 170 patients (first night of Sevens)- (Usually 140 patients treated on a Friday night) (+30)

***Dozens of Sevens arrests but police happy

12 people were arrested and 47 people were evicted from the stadium over the two day event.??? Different numbers reported?

14 arrests in stadium of the 100 arrests
(52 arrests for breaches of the liquor ban, disorderly behaviour and minor assault)
(6 people were arrested at the stadium, 4 for disorder, and 2 for attempting to run onto the field.)
(27 people for minor injuries, and 5 were sent to hospital for further treatment.)

***Police praise Sevens fan behaviour

44 arrests in stadium of the 105 arrests

42 arrests in stadium of the 113 arrests

*** Reports say police were happy with 100 arrests in 2012 & 2013




An average Saturday night in Hamilton

Intoxicated 5

Offensive behaviour 2

Disorderly behaviour 1

Fighting in a Public Place 3

Obscene Language 1

Removed three intoxicated people from licensed premises

Warned two people for disorderly behaviour

Asked eight to go home due to their intoxication, warning them not to enter any other licensed premises

Issued 12 tickets to people for breach of liquor ban, four of which were written warnings



What are the best Opening Hours for licensed premises?
Has any one done a study on how much revenue is collected with different closing hours? adding also the different nights of the week?

How much is sold between 12pm -1am, 1am – 2am, 2am – 3am, 3am – 4am?

There must be an optimum time to close, based on harm vs revenue and costs therefore profitability of a bar.

Maybe there needs to be a different number of licenses that can be open to certain times?


*This page is live and being updated all the time, as new stats come to hand.