Local Alcohol Policies

Local councils have the ability to develop their own Local Alcohol Policies. These policies can help control the number of outlets across their region (or in particular areas), their trading hours, and where new outlets can be located (e.g. close to schools, etc).
This section helps you to have your say during public consultation on a Local Alcohol Policy. In areas where there is no policy being developed, this section encourages you to contact your council so that they develop one.

Our 2012 liquor laws gave each of the 67 local Councils in New Zealand the ability to develop a Local Alcohol Policy. 

They are not mandatory; many Councils have not yet progressed to developing a policy. These policies can specify the location of new outlets (e.g. close to schools, etc), density/number of premises permitted in the region (or particular areas), trading hours of premises, as well as the types of discretionary conditions which can be added to a licence.

Local Alcohol Policies offer a significant opportunity to reduce alcohol-related harm in your community.



  1. Pearce, J., Day, P., & Witten, K. Neighbourhood provision of food and alcohol retailing and social deprivation in urban New Zealand. Urban Policy and Research, 2008; 26(2), 213-227. https://doi.org/10.1080/08111140701697610 
  2. Ayuka, F., Barnett, R., & Pearce, J. Neighbourhood availability of alcohol outlets and hazardous alcohol consumption in New Zealand. Health & Place, 2014; 29:  186-199. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.07.002
  3. Chikritzhs, T., Stockwell, T. The Impact of Later Trading Hours for Australian Public Houses (Hotels) on Levels of Violence. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2002; 63(5),591-9. https://www.jsad.com/doi/10.15288/jsa.2002.63.591 
  4. Casswell, S., Huckle, T., Wall, M., & Yeh, L.C. International Alcohol Control study: pricing data and hours of purchase predict heavier drinking. Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research. 2014; 38(5):1425-31. https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.12359 
  5. Kypri, K., Jones, C., McElduff, P., & Barker, D. Effects of restricting pub closing times on night‐time assaults in an Australian city. Addiction. 2011; 106(2), 303-310. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03125.x
  6. Pasch, K. E., Komro, K. A., Perry, C. L., Hearst, M. O., & Farbakhsh, K. Outdoor alcohol advertising near schools: what does it advertise and how is it related to intentions and use of alcohol among young adolescents? Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 2007; 68(4), 587-596. https://www.jsad.com/doi/10.15288/jsad.2007.68.587
  7. Ellickson, P. L., Collins, R. L., Hambarsoomians, K., & McCaffrey, D. F. Does alcohol advertising promote adolescent drinking? Results from a longitudinal assessment. Addiction. 2005; 100(2), 235-246. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.00974.x 
  8. Casswell, S., Huckle, T., Wall, M., & Yeh, L.-C.  International Alcohol Control study: pricing data and hours of purchase predict heavier drinking. Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research, 2014; 38(5):1425-31. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/acer.12359
  9. New Zealand Law Commission. Alcohol in Our Lives: Curbing the harm: A report on the review of the regulatory framework for the sale and supply of liquor. Wellington: New Zealand Law Commission; 2010. https://www.lawcom.govt.nz/sites/default/files/projectAvailableFormats/NZLC%20R114.pdf 
  10. Miller, P et al. Dealing with Alcohol and the Night Time Economy (DANTE). Final report. National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund: Australia. 2012 https://aic.gov.au/sites/default/files/monograph-43.pdf?v=1576128353 ; AND Miller, P et al. Patron Offending and Intoxication in Night-Time Entertainment Districts (POINTED). 2013; Final report. National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund: Australia.  https://aic.gov.au/sites/default/files/monograph46.pdf?v=1576128550
  11. Parker RN, McCaffree KJ, Skiles D.. The impact of retail practices on violence: the case of single serve alcohol beverage containers. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2011; 30(5):496-504. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1465-3362.2011.00318.x
  12. Masho, S. W., Bishop, D. L., Edmonds, T., & Farrell, A. D. Using Surveillance Data to Inform Community Action: The Effect of Alcohol Sale Restrictions on Intentional Injury-related Ambulance Pickups. Prevention Science, 2014; 15(1):22–30. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-013-0373-y
  13. NZ Police. Policing Fact Sheet: Licensed premises trading hours. Prepared by: Organisational Performance Group, Police National Headquarters: Wellington; 2009. https://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/timaru-licensed-premises-fact-sheet.pdf
  14. Toomey, Traci L., Darin J. Erickson, Kathleen M. Lenk, Gunna R. Kilian, Cheryl L. Perry, and Alexander C. Wagenaar. "A randomized trial to evaluate a management training program to prevent illegal alcohol sales." Addiction 2008; 103 (3): 405-413. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02077.x
  15. Clark TC, Fleming T, Bullen P, et al. Youth’12 Prevalence Tables: The health and wellbeing of New Zealand secondary school students in 2012. Auckland, New Zealand: The University of Auckland;2013. https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/assets/fmhs/faculty/ahrg/docs/Prevalence%20report.pdf 
  16. ARLA Annual Report 2015/16. Retrieved from https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/51DBHOH_PAP71415_1/fe3d568aa599ab6ff6effd5285b2d41525cd0e5b [Accessed 1 December 2017].
  17. Babor, Thomas. Alcohol: no ordinary commodity: research and public policy. Oxford University Press, 2010. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/alcohol-no-ordinary-commodity-9780199551149?cc=nz&lang=en&
  18. Wilkinson, Claire, and Sarah MacLean. Enforcement of liquor licence provisions: The introduction of civilian licence inspectors in Victoria. Drugs: education, prevention and policy 2013; 20(1): 15-21. https://doi.org/10.3109/09687637.2012.676106
  19. National Drug Research Institute Restrictions on the Sale and Supply of Alcohol: Evidence and Outcomes. Perth: National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology. 2007. Retrieved from http://ndri.curtin.edu.au/ndri/media/documents/publications/R207.pdf [Accessed 1 December 2017].
  20. Ker, Katharine, and Paul Chinnock. Interventions in the alcohol server setting for preventing injuries. The Cochrane Library 2008. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005244.pub3/abstract 
  21. Curtis, Ashlee, Kerri Coomber, Nicolas Droste, Shannon Hyder, Darren Palmer, and Peter G. Miller. "Effectiveness of community‐based interventions for reducing alcohol‐related harm in two metropolitan and two regional sites in Victoria, Australia." Drug and Alcohol Review 2017; 36(3): 359-368. https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.12501
  22. Homel, Ross, and Jeff Clark. The prediction and prevention of violence in pubs and clubs. Crime Prevention Studies 1994; 3: 1-46. https://popcenter.asu.edu/sites/default/files/library/crimeprevention/volume_03/01_homel.pdf