HPA's approach

Drinking alcohol is a part of many New Zealanders lives but, for a significant proportion, the amount and pattern of drinking causes harm both to themselves and others. Harms can include injuries, alcohol poisoning, chronic health problems, road trauma, offending, and abuse of others.

The work that HPA undertakes aims to prevent and reduce this harm and inspire New Zealanders to make better decisions about drinking alcohol.

    What does HPA do?

    On 1 July 2012 HPA took over all functions previously undertaken by the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC).

    The HPA’s work to reduce alcohol-related harm is comprehensive in its approach and includes work to fulfil its statutory function to provide alcohol-related advice and research. 

    National marketing campaign and other communications

    A range of strategies is used as part of a national marketing and communications programme to help New Zealanders make positive decisions about their alcohol use.

    As well as using mass media to engage with our audiences, we provide online tools and other information at Here people can assess their own drinking and learn more about alcohol and its effects. In addition resources are provided to groups to support their alcohol-related work in the community and to add value to national campaigns.

    Advice, resources and tools for alcohol legislation requirements

    Supporting the successful implementation of the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 is the main focus of the HPA’s current advisory work with regulatory agencies, local government, licensed premises, alcohol industry groups, community groups and others. 

    The HPA is also updating and revising resources and online tools to reflect recent legislative change.

    For more information visit

    Advice, resources and tools for health sector action

    Providing advice and support to enable the expansion of alcohol screening and brief interventions in health services and other sectors, is a key focus of the HPA’s work.

    Some support is also provided to the addiction treatment sector.

    Advice, resources and tools for community-led action on alcohol

    Communities are ideally placed to positively influence New Zealand’s drinking culture. The HPA works with a range of community groups and organisations to encourage innovative community action on alcohol issues using local solutions. It also partners with regional and local initiatives to support effective regulatory activity and community solutions.

    HPA regional managers are available to provide advice and support to communities wanting to take action on alcohol. Community groups and organisations may also be eligible for funding assistance.

    For more information

    Policy advice and research

    The HPA has specific statutory functions to give advice and make recommendations and to undertake research on alcohol-related issues. The HPA’s policy advice involves providing oral and written submissions and contributing to interagency meetings and work programmes at central and local government levels. A wide range of alcohol-related research is undertaken and made available to others engaged in reducing alcohol-related harm.

    For research reports »

    For more alcohol-specific information »

    Find out more

    To find out more about alcohol and HPA’s work in this area visit


    To order alcohol-related resources

    Please note, all resource ordering is done online.

    1 Ministry of Health. (2013) Hazardous drinking in New Zealand: Key findings from the New Zealand Health Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

    Eight facts about alcohol

    The 2011/12 New Zealand Health Survey found that:

    • 80% of adult New Zealanders consumed alcohol in the past 12 months, a reduction from 84% in 2006/07
    • one in five (19%) past-year drinkers had hazardous drinking patterns
    • men (26% of past-year drinkers) are more likely to have hazardous drinking patterns than women (12% of past-year drinkers)
    • hazardous drinking among males fell from 30% to 26% between 2006/07 and 2011/12 - there was no significant change for women over this period
    • among past year drinkers, hazardous drinking was most common among both men and women aged 18-24 years
    • there was a reduction in hazardous drinking among young people (18-24 years) from 49% in 2006/07 to 36% in 2011/12
    • men aged 18-34 years had a particularly high rate of hazardous drinking, at over 40%
    • there was a reduction in hazardous drinking among Māori adults from 33% in 2006/07 to 29% in 20011/12.1