Places & Events

Alcohol consumption in public places, in certain settings or at events

In New Zealand, the majority of alcohol is consumed in private homes and within on-licences (bars, restaurants, etc). In 2010 in New Zealand, 73% of the total volume of absolute alcohol was consumed in private homes (own home, other's homes).

Other places where drinking occurs includes public outdoor spaces (e.g. parks, beaches), workplaces, public events (e.g. music festivals), tertiary settings, sports and others clubs, etc.

Where we live, work, learn and play can impact significantly upon our lives. 
The environments we spend time in can influence our alcohol use.

As alcohol consumption in public places is often uncontrolled, it can present many problems:

  • Intoxication in public places can result in assaults, aggressive behaviour, and crime.
  • Alcohol use  can also decrease the quality or attractiveness of the public space in terms of noise, vandalism, property damage, and  alcohol-related litter (broken bottles, cartons, etc). 

This section will guide you to take action on any concerns you have about alcohol being consumed in public spaces.

Remember - if the problem is occurring now and you are concerned about 
the safety of yourself or others - please call the Police.

Drinking in public places is associated with significant harm and disorder and is an important setting to address to reduce alcohol-related harm. Public places includes parks, reserves, beaches, streets, etc.


Alcohol consumption can cause problems at events – this is often due to intoxication. Drunken behaviour can easily disrupt an event and spoil the event for you and others. If the event is attended by young people it can also expose them to poor behaviour and role modelling as well as alcohol marketing and promotion.

Read this section if you are concerned about the way alcohol is managed at public events you attend (or have attended) where problems have arisen. This includes music festivals, cultural and social events, arts performances, and so on.


Our mountains and other wide open spaces - beaches, rivers and lakes, our flora and fauna - are all part of what makes New Zealand unique and beautiful.  They are often home to many of our cultural and environmental taonga.

They also present a number of inherent risks to users. This requires us all to take special care to enjoy them safely and to preserve their beauty and value.  

Alcohol use in these places can cause problems. These can range from serious risk to health and safety, to damage to property and facilities, to noise and nuisance.

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