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Alcohol Policies

ARPHS has a statutory role in ensuring that the harms from excessive alcohol consumption are minimised in Auckland. 

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (SaSAA)

The sale of alcohol in New Zealand is controlled by The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act (SaSAA) 2012. The aim of SaSAA is to ensure the safe and responsible sale, supply, and consumption of alcohol, and to reduce the harm caused by excessive or inappropriate alcohol use.

This law also aims to give local communities a greater say in how and where alcohol is sold.  This means that communities can object to new licences but the process is challenging in practice. Members of the public have to provide evidence in writing and take time off work to present this and answer questions. This daunting and time consuming process is often a barrier to people wanting to have their say.

Many Aucklanders believe it is too easy to buy alcohol and there are too many places selling it. ARPHS would like to see a limit on the number of outlets as the greater the number in a neighbourhood, the greater the level of harm.

Competition leads to alcohol promotion and lower prices, longer opening hours, greater sales and consumption, and therefore more harm from alcohol such as hospital admissions and late night assaults.

The SaSAA also empowers Councils to develop stronger alcohol regulation through a Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) in consultation with communities as explained in the LAP section below.  

Have your say for community objections to alcohol licences.

A Local Alcohol Policy  (LAP)

A Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) is a set of decisions made by a local authority in consultation with its community about the sale and supply of alcohol in its geographical area.

A Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) can influence:

  • where new alcohol licences are allowed to establish;
  • how many new alcohol licences are allowed;
  • when bars, restaurants and nightclubs can be open;
  • when bottle shops and supermarkets can sell alcohol; and
  • when clubs (e.g. sports clubs, RSAs) can sell alcohol.
A LAP will place greater controls on when, where and how alcohol is sold across the region, once in place.

LAPs can also set out conditions that can be applied to alcohol licences to improve industry standards and promote safe and responsible sale and supply of alcohol.

For more information visit the Auckland Council's page.

The Local Alcohol Policy in the Auckland Region

Auckland’s LAP is currently not in place as it has been appealed

Auckland Council developed a Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) in 2014 in consultation with Policeand health agencies, and this was adopted as a Provisional LAP (PLAP) in 2015. 

While ARPHS supported the majority of provisions in the PLAP, the service worked in collaboration with NZ Police and Alcohol Healthwatch to appeal some elements in 2017.  The focus of ARPHS’ appeal included strengthening the proposed closing time for bars and pubs (on licences) and including more suburbs in the Priority Overlay Areas which provide extra protections. 

ARPHS provided evidence of the significant alcohol related harm in Auckland and that it could be reduced by limiting the availability of alcohol overall.

In July 2017, the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (The Authority) issued its decision on appeals made against the PLAP.

The Authority upheld the majority of the PLAP but asked the Council to reconsider a small number of clauses. The Council made decisions to amend its policy which was resubmitted to the Authority in October 2017. 

Appeals have now been lodged by Progressive Enterprises, Foodstuffs and a licensed premise against the resubmitted PLAP, and a second legal process is also occurring - a judicial review of proceedings. These proceedings are going to be heard by the High Court over the week starting 11 February 2019. 

ARPHS continues to support Council so it arrives at a reasonable and effective LAP which protects communities with stronger rules around opening hours, location and number of outlets. 


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