Crate Day: Alcohol expert Professor Doug Sellman suggests The Rock 'pick up the tab' for harm caused from 'drunken drongo day'

Alcohol Action New Zealand has suggested the radio station that invented Crate Day pay for "the harm that will occur".

Crate day is an "unofficial holiday" in Aotearoa held on the first Saturday of December, where Kiwis who participate drink a crate of 12 bottles of 750ml beer (about 30 standard drinks) from 12pm until 12am the next day.

The Rock radio station, owned by Mediaworks, launched Crate Day in 2009 as a publicity stunt. A spokesperson for Mediaworks said in a statement the station no longer has "any association with Crate Day and haven't for a number of years".

Alcohol Action NZ spokesperson Professor Doug Sellman says the day should be "called drunken drongo day" instead, adding there are other ways to celebrate the summer months. 

"I think there is a great place to celebrate summer and summer for most New Zealanders I think is a celebration of health and vitality."

He said those who partake in Crate Day could be drinking "literally a lethal dose of alcohol".

"Because a lethal dose of alcohol is somewhere between 20 and 30 standard drinks, which makes people into essentially drunken drongos," he said. 

"It should be called drunken drongo day."

Prof Sellman said he, like "most New Zealanders", think Crate Day is a "ridiculous way" of celebrating summer.  

"Thirty standard drinks is high, very high risk of damage."

Crate Day usually sees a crate of 12 beers per person, but Prof Sellman believes it would a "really good thing" if a crate were to be shared between six to 12 people. 

"Most of us in Alcohol Action do enjoy drinking alcohol socially at a low-risk manner," he said. 

"Remembering there is no safe dose of alcohol, we can only aim for low-risk."

With Crate Day kicking off soon, Prof Sellman took a swipe at The Rock radio station, which has heavily promoted the day in the past.

"I think if The Rock radio station were to pick up the tab for all the harm that will occur, that they would be putting out a different message."

The Rock's hasn't promoted Crate Day online since 2019, but did invent the celebration. The radio station's owner MediaWorks has in the past attempted to trade mark the term 'Crate Day'.

Watch the full interview above.