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Sale and supply of alcohol

Sale and supply of alcohol

Legislation reforming New Zealand's alcohol laws was passed by Parliament in December 2012. The reforms aim to improve New Zealand's drinking culture and reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking.

The new laws, which replace the Sale of Liquor Act 1989, take effect in stages and come into full force on 18 December 2013.

Summaries of main alcohol law changes for the public and main alcohol law changes for businesses from this date are available.

A timeline of all key changes since December 2012 is available on the "What's changing and when" page.

Key features of the new laws include:

  • increasing the ability of communities to have a say on local alcohol licensing matters
  • allowing local-level decision-making for all licence applications
  • requiring express consent of a parent or guardian before supplying alcohol to a minor
  • requiring anyone who supplies alcohol to under 18-year-olds to do so responsibly
  • strengthening the rules around the types of stores eligible to sell alcohol
  • introducing maximum default trading hours for licensed premises
  • restricting supermarket and grocery store alcohol displays to a single area.

In the initial stages of the Parliamentary process, the legislation was known as the Alcohol Reform Bill, but it was split into the three bills during the Committee of the Whole House stage. The alcohol reform legislation comprises three Acts:

  • Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act
  • Local Government (Alcohol Reform) Amendment Act
  • Summary Offences (Alcohol Reform) Amendment Act.