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Alcohol Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2014
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  25 February 2015
Data quality

Data source

The volume of alcohol available for consumption comes solely from administrative data. No direct surveying occurs. We obtain information from two sources: New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS) and Statistics New Zealand's merchandise trade statistics.

NZCS provides figures on beer, spirits, spirit-based drinks, and wine produced for local consumption on which duty is paid; our merchandise trade statistics provide data on imports less re-exports. We exclude domestically produced beer and wine with less than 1.15 percent alcohol content, and alcoholic beverages produced by private individuals at home.

Accuracy of the data

Alcohol per person

We calculate the volume of pure alcohol available per person by dividing year-ended total alcohol volumes by Statistics NZ’s quarterly population estimates.  Four series are available: for aged 15 years and over, 18 years and over, 20 years and over, and total New Zealand population.

Calculating the average number of standard drinks available

According to the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC), one standard drink equals 10 grams of pure alcohol. We use this definition to calculate the average number of standard drinks available for consumption per person per day.

See What's in a standard drink? for more information.  

Calculating the volume of alcohol available from beer

We calculate the volume of alcohol available from beer using the five categories NZCS uses to calculate excise duty. To convert the volume of beer available for consumption to the volume of alcohol, we multiply the categories by the following conversion factors:

 Volume of alcohol (percent)  Conversion factor
 Not more than 1.15  0.0115
 More than 1.15 but not more than 2.50  0.01825
 More than 2.50 but not more than 4.35  0.04
 More than 4.35 but not more than 5.00  0.04675
 More than 5.00  0.051
Calculating the volume of alcohol available from spirits and spirit-based drinks

The data used to calculate available spirits is expressed in absolute alcohol content. However, spirit-based beverages with an alcohol content of less than 23 percent are expressed in litres.

We calculate the volume of alcohol content in spirit-based drinks according to the five categories used by NZCS to calculate excise duty. To convert the volume of spirit-based drinks available for consumption to the volume of alcohol, we multiply the categories by the following conversion factors:

Volume of alcohol (percent) Conversion factor 
Up to 2.5  0.015
More than 2.5 but not more than 6  0.045
More than 6 but not more than 9   0.08
More than 9 but not more than 14  0.11
More than 14 but not more than 23   0.18
Calculating the volume of alcohol available from wine

We use results of the Study of the Alcohol Content of Alcoholic Beverages (conducted by the then Department of Scientific and Industrial Research between 1976 and 1987) to determine the average alcohol content of table and fortified wine.

To calculate the volume of alcohol available in these wines, the volume of: 

  • table wine available is multiplied by 0.0527 or 0.11, depending on input classification
  • fortified wine available is multiplied by 0.18.

More information

See Alcohol availability for more information. 

Statistics in this release are produced in accordance with the Official Statistics System principles and protocols for producers of Tier 1 statistics for quality. They conform to the Statistics NZ Methodological Standard for Reporting of Data Quality.

Liability

While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.

Timing

Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ does not accept responsibility for any such delay.

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