(Maynard, Wright & Brown) is a piece of research on Māori and Alcohol and explores the impact of negative stereotyping and how it can affect alcohol use by Māori. Some negative images of Māori drinking, such as those in the movie adaptation of Alan Duff’s Once Were Warriors, have become a self-fulfilling prophecy for too many Māori.
In terms of system change, Rūrū Parirau is about destabilising negative stereotypes and rebalancing the narrative, encouraging people to shake off negative labels and reach their full potential. Rūrū Parirau offers an opportunity for communities to tell their own positive stories around dealing with minimizing alcohol harm and creating safer, positive environments especially for children and families. These stories widely told, begin to build social permission for people to drink at low-risk levels or not drink, and create a new narrative normalising low-risk drinking and alcohol free spaces.
WHAT WE KNOW
Alcohol is the most commonly used recreational drug in Aotearoa New Zealand with approximately 80% of New Zealanders reporting having a drink from time to time
While most New Zealand drinkers do not consume large amounts of alcohol on a typical drinking occasion, national surveys consistently show that around 20%–25% consume large amounts of alcohol on a typical drinking occasion.
This pattern of risky occasional drinking
is the major factor contributing to New Zealand’s high level of acute alcohol- related harm such as risk of injury, death, road trauma, crime and disorder, violence, drowning, burns and alcohol poisoning. It is a practice most common among young people aged 18–24 years
A key challenge is to find innovative ways to address the disproportionate levels of alcohol-related harm within our communities.
Healthy Families Rotorua and Toi Te Ora believe there is an opportunity to reframe the narrative around alcohol use within our communities. Understanding the attitudes and practices pertaining to alcohol in places such as sports clubs, schools, marae and urupā (wāhi tapu) are important to explore as we look to increase the number of places and spaces where our tamariki are free from alcohol exposure and potential harm.
Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand, Ministry of Health Zealand, 2001
Fryer, Jones, & Kalafatelis, 2011; Ministry of Health, 2009, 2013
Ministry of Health, 2008