Eighty pct of New Zealanders now take a 'part-time' approach to alcohol - survey

An increasing number of New Zealanders are saying no to booze. 

In fact, according to one survey, 80 percent of Kiwis are taking a part-time approach to drinking and choosing low or non-alcoholic drinks.  

"New Zealanders have been brought up on rugby, racing and beer, it's our culture," says Matt McLaughlin of the Hoff Hospitality Group.

"[But now] a lot of people looking for low carb and low alcohol options - so our market is going through quite a change."

"The global mega trend is based around health and wellbeing, particularly in the younger age group," says Bridget MacDonald of the NZ Alcohol Beverages Council.

That younger age group is the 18 - 25-year-olds like Massey University students Newshub spoke to.

"There's definitely been occasions when I'm the sober driver or the sober person, I'm just like 'oh I don't feel like drinking tonight'," student Elizabeth Hodgson said.

"I'm not much of a drinker I'd say. I have the casual glass of wine with the family or if I'm out at a party," added Khushboo Singh.

And the stigma around saying 'yeah nah' appears to be easing.

A whopping 91 percent of Kiwi men said they don't care if mates chose not to drink on a night out.

"That's what we're seeing - a real turning point in our social culture, where people are respecting people's decision around alcohol," said MacDonald.

But there's still a few who don't.

"I was holding a Schweppes, the orange and lemon one - I love those. And I just got a call from a mate, he said 'what are you drinking? Why aren't you drinking?'" said Hodgson.

If you don't want a boozy night out but still want a drink in your hand - there's now a growing selection of non-alcoholic beverages. There's plenty of beers on offer and now zero-alcohol gins as well.

"The days of being drunk in a corner - I think they might have gone," said McLaughlin.

Not completely; but there's less hazardous drinking for some.

"The 45 - 54 age group has come down 4.2 percent in the past year - that's really good to see," said MacDonald.

Cheers to that!