Alcohol Use and Older Māori People: Reason for Further Investigation?

Thumbnail Image
Open Access Location
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Psychology, Massey University
When considering alcohol use in New Zealand, the focus is often on ‘binge drinking cultures’ of younger generations. However, this paper, based on a literature review, will illustrate the need to better understand alcohol use among older Māori people in New Zealand. There are a number of reasons for this. First, with the phenomenon of an ageing population older people will make up a significant proportion of the total population in the future and Statistics New Zealand (2006) predicts there will be a significant increase in the number of older Māori people in particular. Second, there is a wide range of health outcomes associated with alcohol use, both positive and negative which emphasize the need to better understand how alcohol may influence older people’s health and wellbeing. Third, research suggests that among older people in general, there are high rates of problematic alcohol use and it has been argued that these rates may be higher because, in many cases, problem drinking is not identified among older people. Specifically, research conducted in New Zealand indicates that a) alcohol use among older people is becoming an increasing area of concern and b) Māori people in particular are more likely to be engaging in hazardous alcohol use. However, very little research has been done to better understand alcohol use among older people and, in particular, alcohol use among older Māori. These factors emphasize the need for better understanding of older Māori people’s alcohol use in order to ensure their health and wellbeing in the future.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Māori, Health, Alcohol use, Older people