New Alcohol Law

The new Alcohol Law - what will change?

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act was passed on 18 December 2012 to replace the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 and creates changes for licence holders, holders of manager's certificates, territorial authorities, enforcement agencies and the public. The Act is now fully in place since 18 December 2013.

To view an overall summary of the key provisions of the new Act and changes that you need to be aware of, please download, print and share this document with your staff. It is important that they are aware of what these changes are and how it will impact on your business.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol - Summary Resource


What's happening in your region?

The Hospitality New Zealand team continues to consult with the local councils and authorities on what is fair and reasonable.

For your information we have provided a summary of Local Alcohol Policy updates - please click here.
Please contact your Regional Manager on 0800 500 503 for more information or professional advice.


New sale and supply of alcohol resources

Member resources (please have your membership login details ready to access these restricted member resources)

Other resources


Alcohol in our New Zealand Communities - A review of research and trends

Hospitality New Zealand has undertaken extensive research to find the best available information separating fact from fiction that will allow members to provide counter arguments during the development of Local Alcohol Policies (LAPs) in their regions.

Now Hospitality NZ invites you as an individual member to assist industry advocacy and to actively be involved in responding to local councils, Police and others who seek to constrain businesses under the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act through LAPs. Hospitality New Zealand's research document called "Alcohol policies in New Zealand Communities" provides arguments that show the economic value of the hospitality sector. Within this research document is a wealth of data that argues against restrictions on hours, against one-way door policies and clearly shows the value of the hospitality industry to the economy. It also demonstrates how little on-licences are able to do that they are not already doing to enhance responsible consumption of alcohol.

The Hospitality NZ Alcohol policies in New Zealand Communities research document can be downloaded from the link below for our members and other interested hospitality businesses to use in individual submissions against those who wish to restrain how you run your business.If members would like a copy of this research document please contact our National Service Centre on 0800 500 503.

Hospitality New Zealand's Alcohol policies in New Zealand Communities - A review of research and trends


National guidance on alcohol promotions

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 creates offences and penalties for certain irresponsible alcohol promotions or activities. Irresponsible promotions can result in fines and licence suspensions and can also damage the reputation and prospects of a business.

The guidance documents on alcohol promotions for on and off premise are to aid understanding of the advertising, promotions, activities and events which are likely to be considered acceptable or unacceptable.

The determination of an acceptable promotion or event will always be decided on an individual basis.

Please note the Health Promotion Agency guidance documents for on and off licensed premises is intended to aid understanding of the advertising, promotions, activities and events that are likely to be considered acceptable or unacceptable.


Guidance on alcohol promotions for on licensed premises
National guidance on alcohol promotions for on licensed premises

Guidance on alcohol promotions for off licensed premises

National guidance on alcohol promotions for off licensed premises

For more information please visit the Health Promotion Agency website here.


New licensing fees regime

On 18 December 2013 new fees come into force for licensing applications including renewals after that date. The new regime aims to recover the costs of the licensing system.

Regulations set default licensing fees that vary depending on the "cost/risk rating" of each type of operation. Territorial authorities will be able to change the default fees by making their own bylaws, but not change the way cost/risk ratings are calculated. The default fees consist of an application fee, which licensees will have to pay when they apply for a new, renewed, or variation to a licence, and an annual fee, which must be paid by licensees each year. Cost/risk rating will be determined by a combination of factors including trading hours, prevalence of alcohol as a business and enforcements.

Existing licensees must pay annual fees on the anniversary of the date of issue of the licence, renewal or variation of their last application.

More information about licensing fees can be viewed on the Ministry of Justice website - click here.

Intoxication guidelines

The Act defines Intoxication as being observably affected by alcohol, other drugs, or other substances (or a combination of 2 or all of those things) to such a degree that 2 or more of the following are evident:
  • appearance is affected;
  • behaviour is impaired;
  • co-ordination is impaired
  • speech in impaired.

Hospitality NZ have an information resource on Intoxication and Place of Safety, and an updated intoxication guideline is now available for your information. Download member resource: Intoxication and Place of Safety for you and your staff to review and use as required.


National trading hours

The national maximum trading hours apply from 18 December 2013:

8am to 4am for on-licence premises
(this means trading must stop at 4am on the morning of Thursday 19 December 2013)

7am to 11pm for off-licence premises


Premises that currently open for longer hours will have to comply with the maximum trading hours from this date. Premises with shorter hours will continue to operate to the hours of their licence.


Know Your Limit

If you do choose to have a social drink, make sure you stay on the right side of the 250mcg legal limit.

The rule of thumb for men is three standard drinks over two hours (3 over 2), and for women two standard drinks over two hours (2 over 2).

View Know Your Limit guidelines here



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