Collaboration: a guide for regulatory agencies

Introduction to this guide   

Section 295 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (the Act) requires Police, Licensing Inspectors and Medical Officers of Health within each territorial authority to “establish and maintain arrangements with each other to ensure the ongoing monitoring of licences and the enforcement of this Act” [s295(a] and to “work together to develop and implement strategies for the reduction of alcohol-related harm” [s295(b)].                                                                                                                                                                                      

This guide is for:

  • licensing inspectors from local government
  • New Zealand Police
  • Medical Officers of Health or their delegate.

As regulatory agency personnel working in the area of alcohol licensing, you have an obligation to operate collaboratively as set out in s295 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (see above).

While the Act requires collaboration, it does not define or prescribe how regulatory agencies are to work.

Collaboration for alcohol licensing purposes tends to be straightforward and there are examples of effective work in this across the country.

The requirement to “work together to develop and implement strategies for the reduction of alcohol-related harm” can be more challenging. Yet these activities are critical for complementing alcohol licensing work. They tend to be broader approaches that can have much more far-reaching benefits in reducing alcohol-related harm than alcohol licensing activities alone.

For that reason, this guide emphasises collaboration that helps fulfil s295(b) obligations. Much of the advice also applies to collaboration in relation to s295(a).

The guide will support you to:

  • adopt a broad perspective on s295, extending your ‘duty to collaborate’ beyond work related to alcohol licensing
  • work towards enhanced collaboration and effective s295(b) work
  • give effect to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

What this guide covers

The guide is in two main parts:

Part A Understanding s295(b) 

Part B Components of effective s295(b) collaboration 

Part A of the guide presents the benefits of a broad perspective on s295(b) with details on:

A1 Why focus on s295(b)? 

A2 A broad perspective on s295(b)

Part B draws together insights on effective collaboration, based on input from regulatory agency personnel in New Zealand working together to reduce alcohol-related harm.

These insights are grouped into four main components of effective collaboration:

B1 Shared purpose

B2 Strong relationships and good communication

B3 Effective community involvement

B4 A project-based approach 

The guide includes detailed information and case examples for each component.

The content reflects the real-life experience of regulatory agency personnel working across New Zealand in a mix of urban and rural/provincial settings.

It draws on their experiences of the benefits and challenges in working collaboratively.

Importantly, the content includes perspectives from representative Māori organisations working in alcohol harm reduction; this reflects the critical need for agencies to work in partnership with Māori.

How to use this guide

This guide is not intended to be prescriptive but a framework for action that can be amended to suit individual agencies’ and communities’ unique circumstances and needs.

In particular, for personnel in settings where collaborating to reduce alcohol-related harm is a new concept, it offers detail on the key criteria for working in that way.

If you are new to collaboration, it will be helpful if you work through the guide, starting with Part A. If you have experience with collaboration, you can use the guide to access the information of most interest or relevance for you.