Europeans are more likely to drink alcohol than Maori and Pacific people, among that part of the population which is over 64 years old.
The data was part of the 2012/2013 New Zealand Health Survey.
Elements of the study were canvassed by the publication, Alcohol New Zealand, which runs evidence-based articles, commentaries and summaries of new alcohol-related research.
It suggested just over 400,000 of the half a million people between 55 and 64 years old, drank alcohol, but that rate appeared to decline as they aged.
It said they drank fewer beverages than when they were younger.
The magazine said wine was the most popular drink for older people.
Alcohol New Zealand said older New Zealand Pakeha were more likely to be drinkers than older Maori or Pacific people.
It reports that 77 percent of adults who were over the age of 64, and of European descent are drinkers, while 58 percent of tangata whenua and 21 percent of Pasifika people drank alcohol.
The rate of hazardous drinking was highest among rangatahi between the age of 18 and 24.
The information on alcohol consumption among different age groups was used in designing effective approaches to preventing problems.