19 Apr 2013

37% of Maori who drink abuse alcohol - survey

10:17 am on 19 April 2013

Health authorities say the number of Maori engaging in risky drinking is too high, with one in three abusing alcohol.

The findings from the 2011-2012 New Zealand Health Survey were released in a report by the Ministry of Health this week.

They show that among Maori who drank in the past year, 37% had hazardous drinking patterns, defined as drinking which carries a risk of harming themselves or others, compared to the national average of 19%.

Health Promotion Agency general manager of policy research and advice Andrew Hearn says the results did show the number of risky drinkers has dropped since the last survey five years ago.

Dr Hearn says a lot of people have been working very hard to improve on the situation and he's hopeful that this is showing through in these results.

The survey also shows that 5% fewer Maori had consumed alcohol in the last 12 months compared to five years ago.