December 05, 2018
Alcohol reset would help Māori communities
Alcohol Action says Māori health will benefit if the Government follows the advice of the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.
Medical spokesperson Doug Sellman says the recommendations for a tougher approach to alcohol mirror those the Law Commission Report made in a 2010 report, which was shelved by the previous National government.
He says the neoliberal reforms on the 1980s boosted New Zealanders’ consumption of alcohol and encouraged unhealthy behaviour like binge drinking.
Māori have between one and a half and two times the rate of diagnosable alcohol use disorders than other New Zealander and the associated harm is higher.
"There is a greater degree of disadvantage amongst Māoridom than there is among the Pākehā population and it's these kinds of disadvantages which really underline the way that alcohol can be damaging to whānau and communities," Professor Sellman says.
He says what needs to happen is the end of the current excessive alcohol advertising and sponsorship, an increase in price, a reduction in outlets and the purchase age being put back to 20.
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