March 04, 2013
Māori teens’ binge drinking exposed
The head researcher of a major study into adolescent behaviours says a binge drinking culture among young Māori reflects the wider society.
Auckland University's Adolescent Health Research Group has just published the results for Māori young people from its Youth '07 health and well being study of secondary school students.
It found that while school age Māori drink less often than their peers. However when they do, they drink more heavily.
Terryann Clark says while people point the finger at rangatahi, they are getting their alcohol and their messages from adults.
“It's a time of life when they are taking risks and if they see adults around them with these behaviours, they will engage in them too. I do think that it’s broader issue. We can’t tell young people not to drink when the majority of us in adult society are not responsible with our alcohol use either,” she says.
Terryann Clark says the recent overhaul of alcohol laws was a missed opportunity because the Government dropped many of the Law Commission's recommendations that may have made an impact on Māori teen drinking.
Copyright © 2013, Uma Broadcasting Ltd