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Te Ao Waipiro - Maori and Alcohol in 1995

Foreword by the Ministry of Maori Affairs

Summary of findings

This report presents information collected from Maori respondents who participated in a national survey of drinking patterns and problems, and host responsibility. The survey was conducted by the Alcohol & Public Health Research Unit and funded by the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand and the Health Research Council of New Zealand. Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust generously provided funding for the printing of this report.

This survey of 4232 people aged 14 to 65 years was conducted between September and December 1995. Twelve percent of respondents (516) identified themselves as Maori or part Maori. This proportion was similar to Statistics New Zealand estimates at the time of the survey, although Maori males were underrepresented in the sample (41%).

The report focuses on age differences for males and females, as age and gender are the two personal characteristics that are the most important determinants of drinking patterns and alcohol-related problems. Significant differences by levels of urbanisation and also commented on. Although it was possible to analyse the survey data by regional variation, the Maori sample was not large enough for any significant regional differences to emerge.

The full report, Dacey, B. Te Ao Waipiro: Maori and alcohol in 1995, was published in August 1997.

Brendon Dacey, Allan Wyllie, Jia-Fang Zhang, Margaret Millard, and the CATI team
Peer review: Internal



Kimihia te po Search the darkness
Rangahaua te po Examine the night
Meinga kia puta ko Mohiohio In order that knowledge may appear
Ko Maherehere and form
Tihei Mauriora!  

From the Office of the Minister of Maori Affairs

It is with pleasure that I write the foreword to such a significant document as Te Ao Waipiro. The information within this report attacks the past legacy of insufficient data on Maori alcohol consumption, and is able to provide direction for strategic responses from health promoters, policy analysts and just as importantly service providers.

As a quantitative analysis of data, Te Ao Waipiro will be useful for a number of Maori and non-Maori people working in the field of alcohol. With practical information we can ensure that alcohol misuse and abuse is challenged at a variety of levels. Alcohol and the impact that it has had on Maori society is quoted in a range of negative statistics, however there is also a dearth of adequate response strategies for kaimahi in the field.

The ability to effectively respond to the impact that alcohol is having upon Maori society are many and varied. It is my fervent hope that we can address some of these issues with information contained in this document. For example, the places where Maori drink is important because it provides insight into responsive strategies such as Host Responsibility or the alternative Maori program Mana Manaaki based in Tauranga which has been operating for approximately the past six years. Significant also is the role that policies can play in re-orienting the alcohol environment so that Maori people are able to enjoy their time without the consequences of alcohol abuse and misuse.

Gone are the days of rhetoric. Te Ao Waipiro is an opportunity to be proactive, and I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Honourable Tau Henare
Minister of Maori Affairs


Summary of Findings

Consumption Changes in drinking
Drinking patterns Alcohol related problems
Location of drinking Comparisons with the general population


Between September and December 1995, data were collected from 516 Maori as part of a national survey of 4232 people aged 14 to 65 years, to measure drinking patterns, alcohol-related problems and other alcohol-related issues.

Self-definition was used to ascertain the ethnicity of respondents, using the following questions:

1. Could you please tell me which ethnic group you belong to:
NZ Maori
Pacific Island
NZ European
or something else that I can key in
Is there any other ethnic group you belong to?

The sample was randomly selected from throughout Aotearoa and interviewed using the Alcohol & Public Health Research Unit’s CATI (computer assisted telephone interviewing) system. The response rate for the survey was 76%.


Drinking patterns

Location of drinking

Changes in drinking

Alcohol-related problems

- feeling the effects of alcohol after drinking the night before;
- being unable to remember actions or events the day after drinking;
- feeling the effects of alcohol while at work, study or doing household duties;
- being involved in a serious argument after drinking;
- feeling ashamed of something done while drinking;
- getting drunk when there was an important reason to stay sober

Host responsibility

Comparisons between the Maori and general population data

The following is a list of some of the main differences between the Maori data and the general population (GP) data (this includes the Maori data) collected from the survey:



Changes in drinking

Alcohol-related problems

Host Responsibility


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