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New Zealand laws on alcohol promotions (including discounting)

New Zealand law restricts the promotion and/or advertising of alcohol that:

  • encourages excessive consumption
  • advertises or promotes discounts of 25% or more

This means that it is only against the law to advertise and promote a discount - it is not against the law to have a discount of 25% or more.

This law applies to anyone undertaking a business including on-licences, off-licences, club licences and special licences and to any promotions run by a person or company which is not licensed.

Section 237 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act is called Irresponsible promotion of alcohol. This section prohibits:

  • Any person that encourages people, or is likely to encourage people, to consume alcohol to an excessive extent, whether on licensed premises or at any other place
  • Any person to promote or advertise a discounted alcohol product that leads people to believe the price is 25% or more below the normal price of the product (other than in a licensed premises or in an off-licence catalogue)
  • On-licensed premises to promote or advertise discounted alcohol that leads people to believe the price is 25% or more below the normal price of the product AND can be seen or heard from outside the premises
  • Promotions or advertisements of alcohol that is free of charge (does not include free sampling)
  • Offers goods and services or the opportunity to win a prize on the condition that alcohol is bought
  • Promotions which are in a manner aimed at, or that has, or is likely to have, special appeal to minors

Although off-licence catalogues are excluded from the section, other media is included – such as billboards, window displays, etc.

Examples of acceptable and unacceptable promotions at on-licences and off-licences have been developed by the Health Promotion Agency.


The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 also includes restrictions on where supermarket and groceries stores can display and promote alcohol. This is now confined to a “single area” within the store. Promotions must not be seen or heard outside of this area or from outside of the store. For more information on single areas in supermarkets, please click here.