Shocking footage has emerged of an adult feeding vodka to a baby.

Police say the footage is "appalling" but it is not possible to confirm if a criminal offence has occurred.

The short video appears to show a Long White being poured into a baby's mouth while the infant lies on a couch, propped up by a pillow.

The New Zealand made RTD contains triple-distilled vodka and sparkling water.


Bottles sold contain 320ml and are 4.8 per cent alcohol.

A man sitting next to the baby is smiling while another person, wearing a One Love festival wristband and brightly coloured nails, holds the bottle.

It is unclear how much alcohol, if any, is given to the child.

The video was being circulated on Facebook, but after an inquiry was made by the Herald to learn more about the video's origin it was removed.

The Ministry of Health's Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Harriette Carr, said they were "appalled" to hear of the video.

"The ministry does not recommend babies or children be given alcoholic drinks," she said.

"Alcohol has been shown to be harmful for the unborn child, babies and children, particularly affecting brain development."

University of Otago professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine Doug Sellman said the video also showed a deeper problem.


"This is exactly what you would expect in New Zealand at the current time.

"It's an ignorant approach to alcohol and the normalised heavy-drinking culture that we have in New Zealand."

Both adults involved were being irresponsible but so was the alcohol industry as a whole, he said.

The negative effects of consuming alcohol were never advertised, he said.

"Have you looked at any alcohol beverage recently and seen a health warning on it?"

Alcohol is harmful to young children and the legal drinking age in New Zealand is 18.

According to the Ministry of Health, there is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Babies exposed to alcohol before birth may develop fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

FASD can cause problems including low birth weight, distinctive facial features, heart defects, behavioural problems and intellectual disability.

In a statement, police said they were not aware of any report or complaint in relation to the video.

"Based on the information available from the video, it is not possible to confirm if a criminal offence has taken place.

"If indeed alcohol has been given to a baby, we would concur with our Ministry of Health colleagues who have described such behaviour as appalling."