Helping reduce harm from alcohol in the community

Community and Public Health has several important roles relating to the prevention of alcohol-related harm in our region. These include health promotion, regulation and licensing, and local policy development.

There are a wide range of effects on communities from alcohol-related harm. Alcohol-related harm contributes to health conditions, injuries and social problems – costing the health sector and other sectors significant time, money and resources.

Vision and priorities of the Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan (CAAP).

Source: Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan (CAAP) 2017–2021.

The figure above shows the vision and priorities of the Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan (CAAP). The vision in the centre is for a safe vibrant and healthy Christchurch free from alcohol-related harm. Four circles in the top half of the diagram show the current activity towards this goal: Problem limitation strategies including Services and Treatment; alcohol licensing; Supply control strategies and advocacy; and Demand reduction strategies including education and social marketing. The three priorites of the CAAP are shown in the bottom half of the diagram:

  • Collaborate, coordinate, communicate;
  • Reduce exposure, accessibility and availability; and
  • Create safer spaces.


Alcohol regulation and licensing in the community

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health works to:

  • Bottles of wine on shelves in a bottle-store.Ensure premises selling or wanting to sell alcohol meet licensing requirements by investigating and reporting on applications on behalf of the Medical Officer of Health; and
  • Encourage the responsible sale, supply, consumption and promotion of alcohol in premises.
  • Collaborate with other agencies to ensure regular monitoring of high risk licensed premises.
  • Support the alcohol industry to be compliant with legislation through appropriate procedures and regular training and appraisal.

Community-based alcohol-related work

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health works to:

  • Ensure that key law and policy makers have appropriate information to consider when making decisions;
  • Support community awareness of local alcohol license applications and options to get involved;
  • Inform the public about the effects of alcohol use and misuse including targeted programmes for at risk groups;
  • Promote host responsibility and alcohol related programmes in workplaces;
  • Support sports clubs to develop alcohol policies; and
  • Support supply control and reduction initiatives such as the Good One Party Register for youth.

Find out how you can take action on alcohol in your community, such as:

  • objecting to an alcohol licence;
  • complaining about an alcohol advertisement;
  • monitoring alcohol promotions in your community; and
  • influencing your local alcohol policy.

Alcohol prevention is the name of the game

Staff involved in this sports club project from Community and Public Health, Sport Canterbury, Canterbury Cricket, Canterbury Rugby League and Tennis Canterbury.Bowls, cricket, rugby league and tennis are sports codes in Canterbury who have attended training workshops to reduce alcohol harm in their club rooms and sports grounds.

The workshops focus on improving club culture, reducing problematic drinking and providing a safe and supportive environment for families. The new Game Plan resources from the Health Promotion Agency are promoted at the workshops along with locally developed templates for club alcohol policies and club alcohol management plans, and ongoing support for clubs to help develop them.

Rugby league sports fields were included in alcohol ban areas in early 2019, after Canterbury Rugby League made a submission to the Christchurch City Council. League games are now being effectively monitored by club members with back-up from the NZ Police.

These workshops are a partnership between the local sporting organisation, Community and Public Health, Christchurch City Council (CCC), Sport Canterbury and Healthy Families Christchurch.

Contact Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health if you are interested in participating in future workshops to manage alcohol in your sports club.


Developing regional policies and strategies to reduce alcohol-related harm

Community and Public Health has worked alongside contributing partners across the Canterbury Clinical Network to develop a Canterbury Health System Alcohol-related Harm Reduction Strategy. This strategy was launched in May 2019 and work to implement it will continue to be facilitated by the Canterbury Clinical Network.

The framework of the Canterbury Health System Alcohol-related Harm Reduction Strategy.

Source: Canterbury Health System Alcohol-related Harm Reduction Strategy 2018-2023.

The figure above shows the framework of the Canterbury Health System Alcohol-related Harm Reduction Strategy. The central vision of Reduced harm from alcohol is surrounded by six values or way of working (equity, best use of resources, evidence, life-course approach, collaboration, and rangatiratanga with Māori communities). Four focus areas bubbles provide direction for the Strategy:

  1. Influence behaviour change and social norms;
  2. Promote healthy environments;
  3. Coordinate prevention, identifications, treatment and support; and
  4. Measure harm and monitor performance.

Community and Public Health worked closely with the Christchurch City Council and NZ Police on the Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan (CAAP). The plan was developed in response to community concern and sets out a vision for “a safe, vibrant, healthy Christchurch free from alcohol-related harm”.


Impacts of and Attitudes towards Alcohol

Impacts of and Attitudes towards Alcohol on Youth

Alcohol in the Community


Download or order alcohol resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


Contact your local office for further information:

Ph: +64 3 364 1777

Ph: +64 3 687 2600

Ph: +64 3 768 1160

For additional information, contact:

Alcohol and Drug Helpline
0800 787 797 (10am -10pm)

Alcohol and Drug Youth Helpline
0800 787 984 (10am -10pm)
Text adh to 234

Community Alcohol and Drug Service (Health NZ Canterbury)
Ph: +64 3 335 4350

Ashburton Community Alcohol and Drug Service (ACADS)
Ph: +64 3 308 1270

Alcohol and Other Drug Service (Health NZ South Canterbury)
Ph: +64 22 000 7628

Rata Alcohol and Drug Services – Adult (Health NZ West Coast)
Ph: +64 3 788 9234 in Buller
Ph: +64 3 769 7805 in Greymouth
Ph: +64 3 756 9700 in Hokitika

Youth Alcohol and Drug Service (CAMHS – Health NZ West Coast)
Ph: +64 3 769 7670

Did you know? Alcohol causes cancer. Source: Cancer Society of New Zealand.

Ngā Kaupapa Here: School Alcohol Policies

A comprehensive school alcohol policy means everyone is clear about the use of alcohol on your premises or at school events, and how to respond to alcohol-related incidents.

This new guide offers all kura/ schools clear information for developing an alcohol policy. It includes reasons to develop a policy, the steps to take, consultation questions, topics to cover, legislation, and where to get support.

If you’re having a party, have a Good One!

The “Good One” campaign is a Canterbury party register designed for use by students. You can find out how to be a responsible party host and register your party with the Police.

The project aims to reduce alcohol related incidents and harm, increase access and distribution of information to enable people to self-manage parties, and reduce disorderly behaviour.

The Canterbury DHB has developed this initiative alongside partners such as NZ Police, Health Promotion Agency, University of Canterbury including UCSA, Lincoln University including LUSA and the Christchurch City Council.

Christchurch's party register. Make yours a good one.

Hapūtanga: How alcohol affects your baby

Being alcohol free is best for you and pēpi. Do not drink alcohol if you are pregnant, might be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is estimated to affect up to 3,000 babies born each year in New Zealand.

Two out of every five babies born each year in New Zealand are a result of an unplanned pregnancy. Approximately half of women drink alcohol in early pregnancy before they know they are pregnant – inadvertently exposing their developing baby to risk.

Your baby can be affected at any stage of a pregnancy – from before you know you are hapū, till the very end when pēpi is born. Drinking any alcohol while pregnant increases the risk of miscarriage, still births, preterm birth, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

There is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy:

  • All alcohol can harm pēpi, including low-alcoholic drinks; and
  • Any amount of alcohol can harm your baby.

Page last updated: 11/03/2024

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