Get Prepared

The law

New Zealand law states that alcohol can only be supplied to a person under 18 years when express consent of their parent/guardian has been given.

This means that friends, older siblings, older peers, etc need consent to provide alcohol to a young person.

If alcohol is provided to someone under 18 years without express consent then penalties (a fine of not more than $2,000) apply.

Sometimes a young person might shoulder-tap an older person (>18 years) to buy alcohol for them. This can sometimes occur outside an alcohol outlet.

Supply of alcohol in a responsible manner

If express consent has been given, any alcohol supplied must be done in a responsible manner.

When considering whether alcohol was supplied in a responsible manner, the court may take into account the following (read the law here):

  1. the steps taken by the supplier to supervise the consumption of alcohol
  2. whether food was provided with the alcohol
  3. whether a choice of low-alcohol or non-alcoholic beverages, or both, was offered
  4. the nature of the occasion
  5. any arrangements for, or provision of, safe transport
  6. the time period over which the alcohol was supplied
  7. the strength and volume of the alcohol supplied
  8. the age of the minor
  9. any other matter it thinks relevant in the particular circumstances.

If any consumption does occur, it is strongly advised that it is within the New Zealand low-risk drinking guidelines, please click here