The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act

​​​​​​​​​Alcohol licensing law in New Zealand is set by the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

The object of the Act is that the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol should be undertaken safely and responsibly, and the harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol should be minimised.​

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act was passed by Parliament in December 2012 and came into full force in December 2013. It replaced the Sale of Liquor Act 1989, changing some elements about the way alcohol is sold, supplied and consumed in New Zealand. ​​​

Find out below about key features of the 2012 Act, other relevant legislation and how local decisions are made under the Act. If you still need more information, please contact us​ (ask for alcohol licensing) or email us​​.​​​

Key features of the 2012 Act

These include:

  • increasing the ability of communities to have a say on local alcohol licensing matters
  • allowing local-level decision-making for all licence applications
  • requiring the express consent of a parent or guardian before supplying alcohol to a minor
  • requiring anyone who supplies alcohol to under 18-year-olds to do so responsibly
  • strengthening the rules around the types of stores eligible to sell alcohol
  • introducing maximum default trading hours for licensed premises
  • restricting supermarket and grocery store alcohol displays to a single area.

Full information and fact sheets highlighting the changes created by the 2012 Act can be found at the Ministry of Justice website. You can also read the 2012 Act in full on the NZ Legislation website.

Other regulations and legislation

For information about other regulatory requirements and legislation related to alcohol - see 'related links' (top right) and alcohol bans.​

Hamilton DLC and decision-making

Learn more about our Hamilton District Licensing Committee​ (DLC) and how they make their decisions under the Act and the Policy.

Page reviewed: 27 May 2021 9:30am