The drink problem in the Te Aroha district
Hart, P. (2016). The drink problem in the Te Aroha district. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 122). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10456.1
This paper deals with the downside of drinking alcohol, not with its pleasures experienced by those indulging. Public drunkenness was always deplored, in part because it led to accidents and to criminal behaviour, in particular violence. Details of who became drunkards is given, with examples of some notable drunkards, one of them a leading businessman, and also of how women were affected by having drunken husbands. And two female drunkards are included. To control drunkards, prohibition orders were sometimes issued, but the thirsty had various ways of evading these. Sly grog seems to have been a minor problem, perhaps because there were so many hotels. Details are given of these and how they were conducted, along with accounts of the lives of several prominent publicans, some of whom became a prey to intemperance, an occupational hazard with significant consequences for their health. Because polite members of society and those suffering from drunkards wasting their family’s money were appalled by the behaviour described here, a strong temperance movement developed in response.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart
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