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Booze killing whanau, 14,000 sellers of alcohol, alcohol related violence up – Tukaki calls time

The Chair of the National Maori Authority has called on an overhaul of liquor licensing in New Zealand and also added much more needs to be done around alcohol infused violence. Matthew Tukaki has said alcohol infused violence is noting new but we must do something about the ongoing love affair with booze that is doing nothing more than destroy some families with some communities now scared for their own safety.

“The reality is our love of booze is killing us and harming us. According to the data booze is a factor in 1 in 5 fatal crashes and 15% of a factor in serious injuries. Alcohol is involved in one in three family violence incidents and 2 in 5 interpersonal offences. In 2007 there were 800 deaths of New Zealanders attributed to alcohol of those aged between 0-79. If that number held true between then and now that would mean that more than 10,000 New Zealanders would have died from something attributable to alcohol.” Tukaki said

“In the last several weeks we have seen instances of alcohol infused violence playing out on our streets. We have intoxicated patrons falling out of establishments and onto the footpath where fights are breaking out and we have surveys showing just how unsafe people feel on the streets of both Auckland and Wellington late at night. We have examples of young people loading themselves up on booze and cheap drinks at rented accommodation before heading into the nightclubs – piled up on booze. Even if they are kicked out of the joint for being booze infused once they are back on the streets anything can happen – in other words we know they are not in charge of their own faculties, so they are just left to their own devices and become vulnerable.” Tukaki said

“In all reality we need to have a look at a system that isn’t necessarily doing much at all to bring down the numbers of alcohol related violence but also the facts as they stand – its putting pressure on our health system and emergency departments as well as social services. And yet we continue to accept that booze is a freedom we all can enjoy – but in doing so it should be about enjoying responsibility not becoming so paralytic that it can have life changing and life ending implications” Tukaki said

“That doesn’t mean to say that we should be against licenses facilities but what we should do is overhaul the system to ensure that those with licenses are being monitored more effectively. And to be frank I am calling on a moratorium for the issuing of new licences particularly bottle shops. We do not need any more booze outlets selling our kids and whanau liquor – to be frank we have an over abundance of booze sellers in Aotearoa.” Tukaki said

“There are more than 14,000 sellers of liquor and booze in New Zealand – we do not need anymore.” Tukaki said

The National Maori Authority will shortly begin engaging with communities on the Liquor Licensing Act and whether a complete overhaul is needed as well as what sort of prevention campaigns need to be run. This includes looking at a ban on alcohol related advertising in sport.

More DATA:

From the domestic figures released by Statistics New Zealand, in the year 2020:

  • 495 million litres of alcoholic drinks were available for domestic consumption:

    • 293 million litres of beer,

    • 112 million litres of wine,

    • 89 million litres of spirits and spirit-based drinks.

In 2020, 89.3 million litres of spirits and spirit-based (RTDs & Liqueurs) beverages were available for domestic consumption (rose 5.2 per cent from the previous year). The volume of spirits increased from 9.4 million litres in 2003 to 15.5 million litres in 2020 (rose 4.4 per cent from 2019). The volume of spirit-based beverages increased from 34.5 million litres in 2003 to around 73.8 million litres in 2020 (rose 5.4 per cent from 2019).


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