Chair of the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee wants mandatory testing of parents and caregivers for alcohol impairment when children are seriously injured.
Speaking at a conference organised by the lobby group Alcohol Action NZ on Thursday, Nick Baker, said nearly a fifth of all police spending relates to dealing with problems arising out of alcohol use, and the secondary harm being done to children by alcohol needs to be recognised.
Dr Baker says at the moment parents and caregivers are not tested for alcohol when a child is injured in the home or with a supervisor.
Alcohol Action NZ says 200 alcohol-related physical and sexual assaults occur daily in New Zealand, and some of them have a direct impact on children.
It says alcohol plays a role in perpetuating the abuse and neglect of children.