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Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

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Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 makes significant changes to the way alcohol is sold in New Zealand.
Parts of this Act came into force in December 2013.

The process for getting a special licence has changed, applications must be made at least 20 working days for the event.  For more information on special licences.

Other changes from December 2013 included:

  • applications will be decided by the new district licensing committees (DLCs). Opposed applications will be decided at a full DLC hearing. Unopposed applications can be decided by the DLC chairperson only.
  • the DLC must consider more criteria when deciding whether to grant an application. These include how the proposed event will impact the good order and amenity of an area, any local alcohol policy, and the design and layout of the area for the proposed event.
  • particular requirements may be imposed on large scale events, such as requiring a security plan and/or a plan to address public health concerns.
  • 3 new fee rates for special licences. In most cases, the fee depends on the size and number of events covered by the special licence. 

In summary, the object of the Act is that the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol should be undertaken safely and responsibly - and the harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol should be minimised.

What is a local alcohol policy?

On 18 September 2014, Council adopted a provisional Local Alcohol Policy for the Gisborne district.

Council can develop a local alcohol policy that can alter certain aspects of the Act.

The elements of a policy must be reasonable, must relate only to licensing matters and the policy must be consistent with the object of the Act. Decisions need to be well supported with evidence that the respective elements in a policy would contribute to minimising harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol.

A local alcohol policy can only include certain things. These are:

  • Limits on the location of licensed premises by area. Areas can be identified similar to the District Plan for CBD, commercial, suburban commercial, residential and rural zones.
  • Limits on the location of licensed premises by proximity to other places such as schools, churches and similar facilities.
  • Limits on the density of licences or types of licences and whether further licences should be issued in the district or different parts of the district.
  • Impose conditions on licences or particular kinds of licences
    (eg. conditions about how patrons are informed about transport options; “one-way door” restrictions that prevent people from entering or re-entering premises after certain times).
  • Restrictions or extensions to the maximum trading hours set out in the new Act.


Summary of the public alcohol survey 

The survey, distributed in June 2013 to a wide cross-section of the community, was available to anyone in the Gisborne district and drew 142 responses. The majority of responses (70%) were from women in the 40 to 64 age group.

Read the survey results - Supply and consumption of alcohol in Gisborne city and Tairawhiti district (259kb)

Visit the Ministry of Justice website for information about local alcohol policies.

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