Responsible Hosting over the Festive Season

With the holiday season upon us, host responsibility measures must be ready for the celebrations that come with it. 

“We are coming to the end of another challenging year, and if you are hosting, please make sure there is plenty of food and water, no and low alcohol options, and look out for your guests,” said NZABC Executive Director Virginia Nicholls.

Last month the New Zealand annual Health Survey released the findings of its 2021/22 assessment of the New Zealanders’ health and well-being.  The survey said 81 percent of New Zealand adults are responsibly drinking beer, wine and spirits.  

New Zealanders also drink 25 percent less now than in the late 1970s.  Fewer young people (under 18) are drinking alcohol, and those who do are drinking less hazardously. 

Industry consumer research found that 47 percent of respondents said they drank low-alcohol beverages (up from 40 percent in 2020).  The most common reasons for drinking low-alcohol beverages included 28 percent because they were driving; 27 percent who because they were tracking their beverage consumption; 26 percent for health and wellbeing reasons; 19 percent for a lower calorie drink and 15 percent because they preferred low-alcohol beverages.  

“We are seeing more Kiwis sip and savour their drink, and people are also adding more no-and low-alcohol beer, wine and spirits to their beverage options. A good rule of thumb is ‘Go no, low or slow’ – it’s always okay to choose a no or low-alcohol drink, and if you choose to drink, then simply sip and savour it slowly.”

“Don’t continue to serve alcoholic beverages to anyone who looks like they’re becoming intoxicated.  And make sure your friends and family get home safely. Enjoy your celebrations over the summer by reviewing your personal drinking habits as well as putting in place host responsibility measures for your guests.”

Top tips from the NZABC for staying safe during  holiday celebrations:

  • Go ‘no, low or slow’. It’s okay to choose no- or low-alcohol drinks. If you choose to drink, pace yourself and enjoy your drink slowly.
  • Sip and savour that cocktail, and remember that a good cocktail can be made with no more alcohol than a bottle of beer.
  • Know what a standard drink looks like, and keep an eye on how many you are drinking.
  • Eat when you are drinking.
  • Drink water in between drinks to stay hydrated.
  • Have a plan to get home safely. Leave the car at home.
  • Support others to stay safe and social. Look out for your friends or family. 
  • If you’re hosting, make sure there’s plenty of food, no- and low-alcohol options, and water available.

For more information, check out and for standard drink levels and how to make better drinking decisions.