In New Zealand informing Members of Parliament about alcohol-related issues assumes some importance for various groups because legislative decisions may be made by conscience votes and not necessarily along party lines. Written material on alcohol-related issues sent to a New Zealand backbench Member of Parliament over the period June 1983 to June 1986 was forwarded to the Alcohol Research Unit. As expected, two major interest sectors were identified as sending material: organizations with a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the sale of alcohol, and organizations with a primary focus on the treatment or reduction of alcohol-related problems. The material was examined in terms of its themes and strategies of presentation. The vested-interest sector was identified as having more potential policy influence through written material than the alcohol-problem groups. Factors which affect the capacity of the interest groups to undertake effective lobbying or advocacy, and the implications for decision-making on health-related policies, are discussed.