The government is under pressure to actively discourage drinking alcohol in the same way that it discourages smoking.
Children's Commissioner Russell Wills told a health select committee inquiry into child abuse on Thursday that the government should treat alcohol "with the same seriousness" as cigarettes.
Dr Wills, who is a paediatrician, said the number of children he was seeing with foetal alcohol effects had exploded in the last five years.
He told Radio New Zealand on Friday that the source of the problem was that women were drinking during pregnancy.
He said 40 per cent of pregnancies were unplanned.
Dr Wills said a minimum pricing policy for alcohol would reduce heavy alcohol intake among the most vulnerable in the community.
Whereas young people were actively discouraged from smoking, the same did not apply to alcohol.
In a joint submission, the Every Child Counts group, which includes Barnardos, Plunket, UNICEF and Save the Children, called for a sustained, cross-party commitment to policies for children.
The group wants universal services and a Children's Action Plan for all children.
The committee will hear further submissions in Auckland on Friday.
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