3 October 2018

Māori attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol

Emerald Muriwai, Dr Taisia Huckle and Dr Jose Romeo (SHORE & Whāriki Research Centre, Massey University) were contracted by the Health Promotion Agency analyse the Attitudes and Behaviour towards Alcohol Survey (ABAS) data to assess Māori attitudes and behaviours. 

The analysis used a strengths-based and Kaupapa Māori analytic approach finding Māori who were male and in younger age groups were found to be more likely to be drinkers across a variety of time frames, and more likely to be identified as risky drinkers. Māori women reported lower percentages for all four drinking measures than Māori men. Location analyses revealed that Māori from the South Island had an increased likelihood of being a last year and past four weeks drinker and consuming at a level of two or more drinks on the last occasion. However, Māori from the South Island were less likely to report at least one negative experience from drinking. On the other hand, Māori from Auckland were more likely to agree with the statement “In some situations it is hard to say I am not drinking’ and “Binge drinking is part of kiwi culture””.

Our findings suggest that Māori with no formal education were less likely to be identified as last year or past four-week drinkers compared to those with formal qualifications. However, Māori with no formal education were more likely to be identified as risky drinkers, relative to those in the degree/postgraduate qualification category. Young people were more likely to experience at least one negative experience while drinking and to report getting drunk or intoxicated when compared to those 55 years and over. When looking at access to alcohol, most participants agreed it was easy to get to licensed premises from where they lived.

This report explores the context of drinking from a Māori perspective. Specifically, the results are discussed amongst a context of systemic issues uniquely faced by Māori. Furthermore, recommendations for future research and continued indigenous data sovereignty are explored. 

Please see more details here.

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Allison Li