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Most New Zealanders socialise in their own home or at someone else’s place. When you’re hosting help everyone stay in a safe and social space by serving great food, offering plenty of non-alcoholic drinks, and making sure everyone has a safe way home.

Come together

New Zealanders are a social lot. Whether it’s Nana’s 90th or a day at the races, we love to socialise and celebrate. Make your next event a cracker.

Keeping it casual

Watching the game

Most of us socialise in casual settings, like dinner with friends, watching the game together, or taking a picnic to an outdoor event.

It’s easy to lose track of your drinking when everyone’s relaxing over a few hours, so don’t top up one anothers glasses. If people serve themselves its easier for them to keep track of what they’re drinking.

It goes without saying that you’ll be eating on these occasions. Make sure it’s more substantial than a bowl of chips and dip though.

If you’re taking the party away from home, don’t get caught out by sloppy packing. Essentials are: a chilly-bin of good food, chopping board and knife, ice to keep your water and drinks cool, sunscreen and hats to keep you cool, sweaters and a blanket to keep you warm, wet wipes, a rubbish bag, and under no circumstances go anywhere without the mozzie repellant!

If you’re staying in make sure you don’t leave the cooking until the last minute. Feed everyone early so people aren’t drinking on an empty stomach, and get them to help you with the dishes too. The more effort that goes into the occasion, the more people are likely to enjoy themselves responsibly.

The family occasion

More often than not, the family occasion is a long-running affair. If you’re starting in the morning make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic options available. You don’t want everyone sloping off for a siesta instead of getting involved in the family swingball competition.

And on that note, try to organise some sort of activity to break up the day and get everyone focused on something other than eating and drinking — what about a walk to the park, some touch-rugby, or a game of charades?!

When it comes to the big milestone celebrations get everyone involved in the preparations. It takes the pressure off the hosts, and means there are plenty of people taking responsibility for the guests.

One last thing. There are often young people at family events, so you need to make sure the adults are role-modelling the right drinking behaviour.

The number one rule as a party host is to stay sober!

Party time!

Party time

Everyone loves a party — the build up, the outfits, and the cheer!

The number one rule as a party host is to stay sober! If you’re in charge you need to have your wits about you. Don’t keep serving your guests until they’re drunk. You want them to thank you for a good night out, not a ghastly morning after.

If you’re hosting a pre-event party (like before the Sevens or a day at the races) put a mod-twist on the champagne breakfast and bring back the spritzer. You want people to get to the event, so start them slow.

And if you’re moving the whole tribe between locations, like from home to a venue, or from one person’s house to another, think about booking some mini-vans or a bus in advance. It means everyone can have a good time without having to worry about transport.