Stricter controls on sale and supply of alcohol

Published on 14 August 2020


The sale and supply of alcohol in Horowhenua will be subject to stricter controls in future, following Horowhenua District Council’s adoption of a Local Alcohol Policy for the district.

Compliance Manager Vai Miller said the LAP provided a set of alcohol policies that suited the Horowhenua environment.

“Having a LAP means that decisions about new alcohol licence applications can better reflect the views of our community about the number of licensed premises our district has, where it’s appropriate to locate them, and the hours they can operate,” she said. 

“For example, our District Licensing Committee will now be able to limit licensed premises in certain areas, such as near schools, churches, parks, cemeteries or healthcare facilities. It will also be able to limit the density and location of licenced premises, and impose conditions on how premises can operate. Those conditions might include additional security, ‘one way door’ restrictions that allow patrons to leave but not to re-enter licenced premises after a certain time, or restricting the size of servings. All this means we can better manage the sale and supply of alcohol in our district so it’s done in a safe and responsible way.”

Horowhenua District Council consulted the community on a draft Provisional Local Alcohol Policy in 2017, and the policy was adopted by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority in June this year after Council successfully concluded negotiations with those who lodged appeals during the appeal period. Council then adopted the date to have the policy take effect at its meeting on 12 August.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 allows territorial authorities, such as district councils, to put a local alcohol policy in place if they choose to do so, although it is not mandatory.

The LAP comes into force on 1 September, except for the provisions that affect maximum trading hours for licenced premises, which take effect on 1 December after three months’ notice, in accordance with the requirements of the Act. The LAP shortens trading hours for on-licences, such as bars and restaurants, to between 9am and 1am the following day. For off-licences, trading hours will be shortened to between 7am and 10:15pm for supermarkets and grocery stores, and between 7am and 10pm for other off-licenced premises, such as bottle stores. The default hours under the Act, are 8am to 4am for on-licences and 7am to 11pm for off-licences.

The Local Alcohol Policy is available to view on the Bylaws and Policies page of Council’s website or at Council customer service centres. 

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