Kava consumption helps cut down alcohol consumption and gang affiliations in male Pacifika youth in New Zealand claims a researcher says.
Edmond Fehoko told TVNZ1's Breakfast today his research show's kava consumption had "reduced the amount of alcohol consumption amongst young boys and also reduced youth gang affiliation".
Fehoko, an AUT University doctoral candidate says the socialisation of the ceremony helps bridge the gap between generations and allows young men avoid alcohol, gangs and drugs.
Comparing kava ceremonies with tea parties and coffee breaks, he says it's the socialisation that draws people to kava.
Kava circles are a way for Pacific males to come together to talk and share ideas while winding down after a long week's work, he says.
"I've been in thousands of kava circles and not once I've come across any violence."
"There are roughly over 20,000 kava drinkers in New Zealand on a weekend basis, so you can imagine positive benefit that our males are getting from this."