Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 covers the safe and responsible sale, supply, and consumption of alcohol and the minimisation of harm caused by its excessive or inappropriate use.  It replaced the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.

What the law is trying to do

  • The object of the Act is safe and responsible sale, supply, and consumption of alcohol and the minimisation of harm caused by its excessive or inappropriate use.
  • This is different from previous legislation where the object of the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 was limited to a ‘reasonable system of control’ over the sale and supply of liquor in order to ‘reduce liquor abuse’.

Key points of the Act

Young people

Community say

Promoting alcohol

  • Alcohol promotions are controlled so they don’t encourage excessive alcohol consumption or drinking by people under-18.
  • Regulations may be made to ban some alcohol products.
  • Supermarkets and grocery stores are required to limit the display and advertising of alcohol to a single non prominent area of their store.

National guidance on alcohol promotions - Off-licensed premises

National guidance on alcohol promotions - On-licensed premises

National guidance on remote sales of alcohol

Trading hours

  • Unless local councils decide differently
  • In many cases actual permitted hours will be less than these.
  • People are allowed on licensed premises from 6am for breakfast meetings and up to half an hour after closing time – providing alcohol is not being sold.

Where alcohol can be sold

How licences are issued

Conditions on licences

  • On-licences and club licensees must provide
    • free drinking water
    • non-alcoholic drinks
    • low-alcohol drinks
    • food
    • help with information about transport.
  • There is scope for any reasonable condition to be imposed on licences, including:
    • who may be sold alcohol
    • one way door restrictions
    • conditions set out in local alcohol policies.
  • Special licences for large scale events may have conditions relating to management plans, Resource Management Act and building code compliance, and Police liaison.

Fees and penalties

  • Fees for licences are based on recouping the costs of administering the system and will vary depending on the risk profile of the premises.
  • Fees are set by regulation or local bylaw.
  • Infringement fees are imposed for a range of offences.
  • Licensees who commit three offences in three years for certain offences may be subject to licence cancellation for five years.
  • Manager’s certificates may be cancelled for five years after three certain offences have been committed in three years.

More information

The Ministry of Justice's website has more information on the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 including: