Every six years Council reviews its Local Alcohol Policy. This year we have upped the ante by combining this review with the review of the Alcohol Control Bylaw and the introduction of an Alcohol Fees Bylaw.

The Local Alcohol Policy helps the community have a say on who can sell alcohol, how and where, by guiding licensing decisions. The Alcohol Control Bylaw sets out where drinking alcohol in a public area is not allowed. The Alcohol Fees Bylaw manages the fees associated with getting an appropriate alcohol related licence.

We have done this to make it easier for people to have their say on all the alcohol rules at the same time in our district. A lot is happening so watch this space!

Where we are up to in the process

Right now, we are pulling together a draft Local Alcohol Policy, Alcohol Control By;aw and Alcohol Fees Bylaw.

We have already gathered research on people’s drinking behaviours in Waipā. We’ve also gathered feedback from those who deal with the Policy directly (like the police), and those who are most impacted by it (like those who run bars or sell alcohol).

We have also completed early engagement with the community and licence holders so the community views are better reflected in regards to the Local Alcohol Policy.

Have your say!

Thank you to those who had your say, the engagement period has now closed. Your feedback will help guide the Draft Local Alcohol Policy which will be out for consultation along with the Draft Alochol Control Bylaw and Alcohol Fees Bylaw August/September 2024.

Off-licences are places where you can buy alcohol to take away like supermarkets, taverns and bottle stores. There is strong evidence in Waipā and around the country that off-licences are more likely to cause alcohol-related harm because of exposure to alcohol advertising. They also enable people to take alcohol away to drink on their own, meaning that people who suffer from alcohol-related harm can do so without possible help or supervision.

We need to find a balance between allowing people to buy alcohol, while making sure we do the best we can do to help reduce harm.

Local Alcohol Policy webinar for on and off-licence holders.

Local Alcohol Policy webinar for club and special licence holders

What is a Local Alcohol Policy?

All councils can have a Local Alcohol Policy under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (Act). The purpose of a Local Alcohol Policy is to have local rules which apply to local communities. The rules must help achieve the aims of the Act, which tries to ensure the sale, supply, and consumption of alcohol is done safely and responsibly, and that alcohol-related harm is minimised.

Local Alcohol Policies do this by setting rules around where places that sell alcohol can be located, when they can open and how they can operate. If a council doesn’t have a Local Alcohol Policy, the Act sets default maximum trading hours but no other restrictions about the location of a licensed premises.

Why is a Local Alcohol Policy important and why should you care?

Local Alcohol Policies ensure locals can have a say on the rules about alcohol in their area. We want the Local Alcohol Policy to work for everyone in the community as much as possible. If you don’t get involved, you don’t have a say!

The nitty gritty

We’d love your thoughts on some specific questions. But first, just a bit of background…

Local Alcohol Policies deal with the sale, supply, and consumption of alcohol by breaking down the regulation of alcohol into two parts, (1) the licence, and (2) the premises.

There are four different kind of alcohol licences according to the Act:

  • On-licences - Alcohol is allowed to be sold and supplied for consumption on the premises, like a bar or restaurant.
  • Off-licences - Alcohol is allowed to be sold for consumption somewhere else, like a supermarket or bottle store.
  • Club licences - Alcohol is allowed to be sold and supplied for consumption on the premises to a member of the club, a member’s guest or an authorised visitor. This is the kind of licence held by sports club or an RSA for example.
  • Special licences - Special licences are held for specific events described in the licence. There are two kinds of special licence: on-site special licences and off-site special licences. Special licences are used for things like a festival, concert, or wedding.

In relation to alcohol licences, a “premises” means the land, buildings or part of a building for which the licence was issued. A premises can have more than one kind of licence. For example, a tavern can have both an on-licence so you can drink there and an off-licence to buy alcohol to take away. A vehicle or other method of transport can also be included as a premises, for example, a cruise boat on a river.

A word about the District Licensing Committee

A District Licensing Committee is an impartial independent body that decides on applications of on-licences, off-licences, club and special licences within their local area. The Committee is guided in those decisions by a Local Alcohol Policy (if there is one in place).