Age & the law

The age for purchasing alcohol in New Zealand is 18. This means anyone who is aged 18 years or over and shows approved ID can enter licensed premises and buy alcohol.

In some circumstances, people under 18 may be allowed in licensed premises even though they are not allowed to buy alcohol.

It is illegal to supply alcohol to someone under the age of 18 years unless:

  • the person supplying the alcohol is the parent or legal guardian and the alcohol is supplied in a responsible manner, or
  • the person supplying alcohol has the express consent of the young person’s parent or legal guardian and the alcohol is supplied in a responsible manner.

You could be fined up to $2,000 if you don't follow the law.

There is no age at which it is illegal to drink alcohol in New Zealand.

 

Download a fact sheet on supplying alcohol to under-18s

Alcohol and Your Kids provides parents and caregivers with helpful advice and includes tips about delaying drinking, being a role model, building and maintaining a good relationship, and what to do when things go wrong.

Download Alcohol and Your Kids  (PDF, 4.15MB)

For more information for parents and caregivers about alcohol and your kids, including videos to watch

For more information relevant to managers of licensed premises