Alcohol arithmetic

February 26th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Rising economic confidence and “aggressive” marketing techniques are the driving factors behind an 8.9 million litre rise in availability last year, says one concerned health organisation.

Latest figures from Statistics New Zealand, which compared figures over the last five years, show the total volume of alcohol available in New Zealand rose to 466 million litres last year – the equivalent of 2.1 standard drinks per person aged 18 and over per day.

It represents an increase of almost 9 million litres from 2012, according to Statistics New Zealand.

How shocking! But Stats Chats points out the story neglected to mention this fact:

The volume of pure alcohol available per person aged 15 years and over was unchanged, at 9.2 litres. This equates to an average of 2.0 standard drinks per person per day.

So real story is level of alcohol available is unchanged per capita.

The total level of alcohol available is in fact still lower than in 2008, and much lower per capita.

In terms of the last year, wine is up 3.6%, beer up 3.2%, spirits up 1.0% and spirit-based drinks (RTDs) down 6.2%. What this means is the actual amount of pure alcohol available for consumption has actually dropped, and has done so for three years. The level is 4.4% lower than three years ago.

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8 Responses to “Alcohol arithmetic”

  1. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    The story is that we are binge drinking less RTD’s – which is supposed to be a good thing.

    And that on average we are moving to lower alcohol level drinks, this is also a good thing.

    I am concerned that one health organisation does not understand the good in what has happened.

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  2. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    Eric Crampton tears Alcohol Healthwatch’s claims to shreds at Offsetting Behaviour.

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  3. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    Fairfax papers ran the story too, but mostly included that critical datum. The Stuff story (with that point) is here:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9761095/Beer-and-cider-rise-in-popularity

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  4. Steve (North Shore) (4,561 comments) says:

    2.1 standard drinks per day?
    Man there’s a lot of wowsers out there if the binge drinkers are not affecting a number higher than that.
    Bugger it, I’m going to do my share, and still be at work early – and still run rings around anyone doing the same job as I do.
    HTFU and stop listening to the wimps who want to BAN everything, or hand in your Man Card

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  5. OneTrack (3,092 comments) says:

    The main issue seems to be the “aggressive” marketing campaigns. And those lefties sure hate marketing campaigns.

    But, did that lefty organisation just manage to admit that the economic environment is improving. Ouch, that won’t go down well when they meet back at green party hq.

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  6. Miritu (29 comments) says:

    And why is Alcohol Healthwatch Trust 95% funded by Ministry of Health (i.e. taxpayer)? Their 2013 accounts show $433,000 of their $709,000 revenue goes to wages – is this good use of taxpayer money?

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  7. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I’m working exshra hard, hic, to keep our per capita alcohol consumption up, hic, but you lightweightsh are jusht not helping. Hic.

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  8. redqueen (562 comments) says:

    But…but…but…that means there’s no shocking story!!! It can’t be true…

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