Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the APNZ News Service office in Wellington.

Coroner lashes out at NZ's dangerous drinking culture

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A man who died after drinking up to 20 shots of spirits, 10 bourbon and cokes and a couple of beers in one evening, has prompted a coroner to lash out at the country's dangerous drinking culture.

Hastings' Coroner Christopher Devonport said his inquest into the death of Porirua man Johnny Moko should be made public to highlight that excess alcohol drinking could cause death.

"The rapid consumption of alcohol in drinking games can contribute to an excess consumption of alcohol and death.

"Communities and individuals must contribute to a change in New Zealand's drinking culture to reduce alcohol-related harm."

Mr Mako, 48, was driven to his Porirua home by his work colleague Kamo Eriepa after a Saturday night party in October last year.

Mr Eriepa and his brother helped Mr Moko into his home in Cannons Creek and placed him on a couch.

On Monday, Mr Eriepa became concerned when his workmate failed to turn up to work or call in sick.

After finishing his shift early on Tuesday morning, he drove to the property and discovered Mr Moko lying dead in the same position he had left him two nights earlier.

Norman Mangu, who was also with Mr Moko on the evening of the party, told the coroner he saw him drink a couple of beers, 10 Woodstock bourbon and cokes and about 20 shots of peach schnapps, sambuca and straight bourbon.

A post mortem examination found Mr Moko's blood alcohol level was 354 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal blood alcohol limit for a driver is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Forensic pathologist John Rutherford said Mr Moko was also morbidly obese, and people in that condition often had significant breathing problems, especially during sleep.

"In my view, this is likely to have contributed to the respiratory depression induced by alcohol."

Coroner Devonport found that Mr Moko died of acute alcohol toxicity.

- APNZ

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