The government seems to think so, although given the forthcoming hike in sales tax on everything, one is cynical about the reason.
Any visitor to Europe will notice a big difference in the price of alcohol in countries like Germany and France, where often beer, wine and spirits are all available in supermarkets at only about half the price they are in NZ. In fact, in Germany you can even buy beer at many McDonalds, although it's not that cheap there.
So the conclusions - will higher tax reduce alcohol consumption? No. Will it bring in more money for the government? Yes.