Maori high school students are more likely to binge drink
than any other ethnic group in the country, with injuries,
unsafe sex and schoolwork problems among the unwanted
While Maori drink less frequently than other ethnic groups,
they consume more on the occasions they drink, creating
"disproportionately higher levels of alcohol-related harm",
an Auckland University study found.
The study analysed data from Youth'07, a 2007 national
anonymous health survey of 9107 secondary schools students,
1702 of whom were Maori.
Participants reported a number of problems associated with
alcohol use including doing things that could have got them
into serious trouble (28 per cent), being injured (27 per
cent), having unsafe sex (26 per cent), and having their
school or work affected by their alcohol use (14 per cent).
Those who said they binge drink reported the problems
happening more frequently.
Researchers found Maori attending secondary school have the
highest prevalence of 'ever trying alcohol' and binge and
heavy binge drinking behaviours than any other ethnic group
in the country.
Over a one-month period, more than 30 per cent of the Maori
participants said they would drink five to nine drinks in a
four-hour session, and another 30 per cent said they would
drink more than 10 drinks.
Contrary to previous overseas studies, the researchers found
witnessing parents drinking alcohol at home environment did
not seem to increase the likelihood of Maori students' binge
Legislation and strategies that benefit Maori need to be
"urgently addressed", said researchers.
" In addition, social campaigns that address the 'drinking
culture' in New Zealand are required to reduce the exposure
and social acceptability of heavy binge drinking for Maori
youth", it said.