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):
- the steps taken by the supplier to supervise the consumption of alcohol
- whether food was provided with the alcohol
- whether a choice of low-alcohol or non-alcoholic beverages, or both, was offered
- the nature of the occasion
- any arrangements for, or provision of, safe transport
- the time period over which the alcohol was supplied
- the strength and volume of the alcohol supplied
- the age of the minor
- 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.