NZ Alcoholic Couple Neglects Children

The consequences of alcoholism has been highlighted by an incident which happened in New Zealand recently, the incident highlights the importance of Responsible Service of Alcohol because RSA staff play an important role in denying alcohol to people who demonstrate a drinking problem – to avoid incidents such as this one.

A NZ couple reportedly neglected their 4 children by failing to provide them with food and medical care but rather prioritised alcohol, drugs and parties. Police arrested the parents for their neglect who placed having a good time ahead of taking care of their 4 children.

The parents were subsequently sentenced to community service and intensive supervision for neglecting their children, all of whom are under five years old.

This sad and shocking story was reported by as follows:

In January, police found the children, all under five, at a Hutt Valley home, unkempt, hungry and sick with skin sores that required hospitalisation.

Police were alerted by concerned neighbours who saw children running out on to the street unsupervised during a party.

On arrival, police found the adults extremely intoxicated and aggressive in a “fairly chaotic scene”.

“This was not an issue of poverty for this family, these parents simply prioritised alcohol, drugs and parties ahead of the needs of their children,” Hutt Valley Inspector Mike Hill said.

Both parents pleaded guilty to four charges of neglect, one for each child, in May.

On Monday, Judge Susan Thomas sentenced the father to six months of community detention, between the hours of 7pm and 6am, along with 80 hours of community work and 18 months of intensive supervision.


The mother was arrested and sentenced to 160 hours of community work and 18 hours of intensive supervision. Both mother and father must also undertake intensive drug, alcohol, parenting and budgeting courses.

The young children, ages 4,3,2 and seven months were extremely neglected and being so young were obviously not able to take care of themselves. Despite the young age of the children, the home contained no baby formula or food for the children, there was also no beds or furniture for them to sleep on.

Unsurprisingly the kids were removed from their parent’s custody. It is sad that innocent children suffer because of the irresponsibility of parents. But this inability of many adults to control how much they drink is one of the reasons why Responsible Service of Alcohol training is so important.

Often once people become intoxicated they cannot control themselves, this leads to excessive drinking as well as a plethora of other consequences such as violence, medical conditions and alcoholism as well as the decline of the family unit.

If staff of licenced venues pay more attention to their patrons and begin enforcing RSA rules more closely, we should see a decline in alcoholism and alcohol misconduct.

Responsible service of alcohol training teaches workers how to identify intoxicated patrons and how to deal with them. It also teaches RSA staff the consequences they and their employer may face if RSA laws are breached.