The woman said she had been at a close friend’s tangi out of town with her son on Tuesday – his ninth birthday.
They returned home in the afternoon and he went to play with friends across the road while she prepared dinner.
She said she had no idea that he had taken off to the skate park, about a kilometre away.
She understood a woman, aged in her mid-20s, gave her son the alcohol at the park.
“I don’t know her. I know of her,” she said. “I think they thought it would be funny.”
Police said he consumed eight pre-mixed bourbon and cola cans and two liqueur shots.
He came home about 6pm stinking of Lynx deodorant and behaving strangely.
“We were like, ‘Oh my god, he’s drunk’. Then we sorted him out and put him to lie down and that’s when the police turned up.”
She co-operated with police and has ongoing support from Child Youth and Family.
She said the young man who claimed to be the boy’s “big brother” in the video, and said it was “all good” that he was drunk, had since apologised to her.
She said she rarely drank alcohol and had never given it to her son, but would educate him about its dangers.
If she has never given alcohol to her son, then it is unfair to hold her directly responsible and she does seem genuinely shocked.
A reservation I have though is that I highly doubt that is the first time the nine year old has drunk alcohol. He had something like 18 standard drinks. If you’ve never drunk alcohol before and you weigh only around 30 kgs, then you’d be vomiting and passing out after just a few standard drinks.
So while I hope this is something that happened as a once off and with no family involvement, I am a bit cynical.
UPDATE: The Herald reports on a photo showing two more of her children with alcohol. The cynicism may be justified.