Work with your local health promotion team (District Health Board/Regional Public Health Service) and other interested parties to mount a campaign aimed at ensuring licensed premises in your area comply with their obligations not to sell alcohol to minors.
You could also raise awareness of the need to reduce the supply of alcohol to young people in your community.
If you see or suspect any licensed premises are supplying alcohol to those under 18, report this to the local Police or licensing inspector at your local Council.
You could also record any suspected underage purchasing in a community incident log.
Check out the section on Alcohol Licensing if you are concerned about other issues about a licensed premise.
Police test the compliance of licensed premises with underage alcohol sales.
Police in your district may carry out a Controlled Purchase Operation. This is where they ask volunteers under the age of 18 to enter a licensed premises and attempt to purchase alcohol.
There are penalties if the premises sells to a minor. The licensee may be liable to either or both of the following:
- a fine of not more than $10,000:
- the suspension of the licensee’s licence for a period of not more than 7 days:
The manager may also be liable to a fine of not more than $10,000. For more information, click here.
To ensure that a person wishing to purchase alcohol is 18 years or over, a staff member will ask for evidence of age (or ID).
Our regulations state that there are only three forms of evidence that are permitted - any of these below can be used as evidence of age:
- current passport
- current New Zealand drivers licence
- Hospitality New Zealand Card (Kiwi Access Card)
These documents must be genuine and not falsified in any way. There are a range of offences relating to evidence of age documents - read here for more.
New Zealand's alcohol laws require that the minimum age to purchase alcohol is 18 years. This is called the Minimum Legal Purchase Age for Alcohol.
New Zealand does not have a legal age for drinking alcohol, unlike the United States.
If a young person under the age of 18 was to buy alcohol in New Zealand, they could face a fine of up to $2000. Click here to read the law.
It is illegal for a licensed premises to sell alcohol to a person under 18 years. They may face a fine of not more than $10,000 and/or the suspension of the licensee’s licence for a period of not more than 7 days. Click here to read the law.
Intervening in drinking occasions
If you feel safe, you can intervene in drinking occasions to prevent or reduce harm. Or call for assistance if you need help.
Building community action
Make sure you get the help and support you need.
Laws play a major role in underage drinking.
Action needs to be directed to:
- Increasing the purchase age from 18 to 20 years
- Increasing the price of alcohol, so that it is no longer 'pocket money' prices
- Restricting alcohol advertising and sponsorship
Also visit Mobilising Others to create a community of action.
Encourage activities and social gatherings for young people that are alcohol-free:
Support/facilitate a discussion with young people about what form these could take, and involve them in the planning.
Visit GOOD VIBES to enable young people to develop alcohol-free events https://zeal.nz/goodvibes
Events could include indoor games challenges; outdoor activities – e.g. walks/tramps; music concert/dance; cultural activities such as kapa haka; singing; study/homework groups; community development initiatives – such as helping to re-develop local park/playground, community garden or supporting conservation efforts, helping others – such as a working bee to help an older resident with a task, helping to prepare Marae or other venue before event/clean-up after; fundraising events for school or local facilities. What about an inter-village/town challenge where young people of two or three local areas come together to “compete” in one or more fun challenges – the young people can decide what the “rules” are.
Young people are exposed to alcohol on a daily basis. You can take action to reduce the number of times a young person sees alcohol and its promotion - look around your home and the community.
Alcohol in the home
Find the best ways to minimise exposure to alcohol in your home. This could involve making sure alcohol is stored out of sight or deciding as a family/whānau that your home(s) is alcohol-free.
Try to monitor social media use by your children - talk to them about any alcohol advertising they may see on the internet (or TV, etc). For more information on alcohol advertising and promotion in the home, click here.
Seek help if your family/whānau is under stress or pressure. Turning to alcohol for “support” during difficult times is a double-edged sword and can lead to more problems, not less. Consider what coping strategies you are modelling to the young ones around you.
Consider how family events could be alcohol-free and/or model responsible alcohol use. Discuss options and introduce these.
Alcohol in the community
Consider how community events could be alcohol-free and/or model responsible alcohol use. Click here for taking action on alcohol at community/public events.
Be aware of the rules around alcohol advertising in the community. This could include Billboards, signs outside bottle stores, etc. For more information on alcohol advertising and promotion in your community, click here.
OTHER PUBLIC PLACES
Reduce exposure to alcohol in other places where young people spend time - discuss this with those who are responsible and offer to assist them.
You can find strategies to address this in other parts of this website. Click on the following links to take action on alcohol exposure in each of these settings: