The law about supply to young people
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 controls the sale and supply of alcohol in New Zealand.
Supplying alcohol to under-18s
It is illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under 18 years of age.
Someone under the age of 18 cannot be supplied with alcohol unless*:
- the person supplying the alcohol is their parent or legal guardian AND the alcohol is supplied in a responsible manner, OR
- the person supplying alcohol has the express consent of the teenager’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 this law.
Who is a guardian?
A person is only considered a teenager’s legal guardian if he or she is recognised as a guardian under the Care of Children Act 2004. A legal guardian is not another family member like an aunt, uncle, older brother or sister, older boyfriend or girlfriend, sports coach or anyone else acting temporarily in the place of a parent.
What does express consent mean?
If you’re supplying alcohol to an under-18-year-old who is not your child, you need to ensure you have express consent from their parent or legal guardian before giving them alcohol.
Express consent may include a personal conversation, an email or txt message that you have good reason to believe is genuine.
What does responsible manner mean?
To supply alcohol to teenagers under 18-years-old responsibly you should:
- supervise the drinking of alcohol
- provide food
- provide a choice of low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks
- ensure safe transport options are in place.
- the nature of the occasion
- the time period over which the alcohol is supplied
- the strength and amount of alcohol supplied
- the age of the teenager.
Drinking and driving
There is a zero alcohol limit for anyone aged under 20. Anyone under 20 could be charged with drink driving if they consume any alcohol and then drive.