Alcohol Healthwatch is pleased with the results of a study confirming the link between the level of alcohol-related harm and the number of liquor outlets in a community.

The Waikato University study last week found that for every new liquor outlet in Manakau, there was an increase in the number of police incidents.

Waikato research associate Michael Cameron said although the Manukau results were specific to that area, the model could also be used in other areas.

Alcohol Healthwatch director Rebecca Williams said the outcomes of the research came as no surprise and that local communities had been pointing this problem out for years now.

"It is great to see scientific evidence validate community concerns. Since the liberalisation of alcohol laws began in 1989 we have seen an unprecedented proliferation of liquor outlets in New Zealand resulting in increased violent crime, vehicle crashes and youth drinking," she said.

The study comes as the Law Commission is due to release recommendations to the Government on reforming New Zealand's alcohol laws tomorrow.

Alcohol Healthwatch is hoping for strong recommendations from the Law Commission, particularly regarding liquor outlets opening near sensitive community facilities such as schools, preschools, churches, Marae and parks.

- NZPA