Other Alcohol-Related Information

The Act specifies timelines, deadlines and non-working days that can impact on filing and assessment of alcohol licensing applications. The Act also specifies sacrosanct days on which the sale of alcohol is restricted.

The Act defines a working day as a day that is not:

  • A Saturday, a Sunday, Waitangi Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, ANZAC Day, the Sovereign’s Birthday, Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki/Matariki Observance Day, and Labour Day; and
  • If Waitangi Day or Anzac Day falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the following Monday; and
  • A day in the period commencing on 20 December in one year and ending with 15 January in the following year.

What this means for licensees:

  • Off-licences: Premises holding an off-licence are not permitted to sell alcohol on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day or before 1 pm on ANZAC Day.
  • On-licences: No alcohol is to be sold on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, or before 1 pm on ANZAC Day to any person other than those who are:
    • for that time, living on the premises (eg guests at hotels)
    • present on the premises for the purpose on dining.

Porirua Council's Local Alcohol Policy determines the maximum trading hours for licensees, this differs for on-licence, club licence and off-licence premises. Special licences, remote sales, hotels and particular clubs (such as RSA) may have exceptions to the maximum trading hours. Check out the Local Alcohol Policy for more information.

  • For on-licences and club licences: The maximum trading hours are 8 am until 2 am the following day.
  • For off-licences: The maximum trading hours are 7 am until 10 pm.

2022 public holidays with alcohol trading restrictions

  • Good Friday: Friday 15 April 2022
  • Easter Monday: Monday 18 April 2022
  • ANZAC Day: Monday 25 April 2022 (until 1 pm)
  • Christmas Day: Sunday 25 December 2022

2022-2023 public holidays without alcohol trading restrictions

  • Waitangi Day: Sunday 6 February 2022 (public holiday on Monday 7 February 2022)
  • Queen’s Birthday: Monday 6 June 2022
  • Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki/Matariki Observance Day: Friday 24 June 2022
  • Labour Day: Monday 24 October 2022
  • Boxing Day: Monday 26 December 2022
  • New Year’s Day: Monday 2 January 2023
  • Day after New Year’s Day: Tuesday 3 January 2023

Your obligations

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 sets out a range of criteria that any licence application of any sort (including renewals) must be assessed against. It is important that you have the appropriate systems in place and regular staff training to meet the criteria.

Although there is a lack of mandatory requirements for staff training and refresher training, it is important that the manager, licensees and their staff "know the law" and they can implement it in the workplace.

Suggestions for staff training

Some examples of systems you could have in operation include:

  • Signage at the points of sale regarding prohibition of sale to minors and intoxicated persons: Although there is a mandatory condition of your licences, make sure these signs actually have the rules explained. You can order them online from the Health Promotion Agency website or you can make your own.
  • Till prompts: There are several software systems available that can be installed to remind staff to check customers’ ages and even making them input their date of birth before service can proceed.
  • Host responsibility policy: Ensure you have an effective host responsibility policy that reflects your business purpose and that your staff and customers understand and can implement it.
  • Intoxication assessment guidelines: Do you have an intoxication assessment guideline (S.C.A.B.) at your premises and do your staff understand it? Copies can be downloaded here.

Some suggested training tools for your staff include:

  • Ongoing training: Explaining your premises’ licence, host responsibility policy and the intoxication assessment guidelines, which are then signed off by the manager or a senior staff member as being presented, read and understood. It is recommended this is repeated at least annually.
  • Training resources: The Bar Code: frontline bar staff and the law; Host Responsibility: guidelines for licensed premises; The Manager’s Guide 2014; Intoxication assessment guideline can be ordered from the Health Promotion Agency website and can provide useful information for all staff training.
  • Outside training: As well as in-house training being provided, there are several organisations that do seminars at their own training centres or will come to you. These usually provide certificates of attendance which can be kept for your records.
  • LCQ certificate: You could get all your staff to complete and hold the LCQ, even if they do not want a manager’s certificate.

There are several liquor licensing regulatory agencies that oversee the processing of applications and monitoring premises and managers.

ARLA: The Alcohol and Regulatory Licensing Authority (ARLA), Te Mana Waeture Take Waipiro, is an independent Tribunal established by the Act and is comprised of up to three district court judges and any number of other members. ARLA's role is to consider and determine applications made by the Licensing Inspectors and the Police for the variation, suspension, or cancellation of liquor licences and manager’s certificates. ARLA also considers and determines appeals against decisions made by the DLC and appeals against elements of provisional local alcohol policies developed by local councils. The DLC may also refer applications for licences and manager’s certificates for consideration and determination to ARLA.

The DLC: The District Licensing Committee is a Commission of Inquiry and also acts to provide information to ARLA. The DLC is made up of a chair and at least two members. The chair of a DLC can either be an elected member of the council or a commissioner appointed by the chief executive on the recommendation of the council. At Porirua City Council, the Chair of DLC is an elected member of the council. Other members of the DLC are eligible people (either community members or elected members of the council) who have experience relevant to alcohol licensing matters. Functions of the DLC include:

  • Determining applications for licences, managers’ certificates and renewals
  • Determining temporary authority applications
  • Varying, suspending or cancelling special licences
  • Referring applications to ARLA
  • Conducting inquiries and making reports as required by ARLA
  • Other functions conferred on it by any Act.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand: On occasion other inspectors or officers of the local council or regulatory agencies will visit premises, including the health inspector, fire safety officer, dangerous goods inspector, health and safety officer, smokefree officer, gaming compliance inspector, and building safety officer. Functions of Fire and Emergency include:

  • Ensuring that premises have evacuation schemes as required by the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017
  • Where appropriate, making objections for licence applications or managers’ certificates
  • Applying to ARLA for the suspension of an on-licence or a club licence where there is evidence of non-compliance with requirements for the escape of people in the event of fire.

Licensing Inspector: Have the power of entry to any licensed premises at any reasonable time and may require seeing the licence or any records to establish compliance with the Act. Functions of the Licensing Inspector include:

  • Enquiring into all applications for licences, managers’ certificates and renewals
  • Monitoring licensed premises’ compliance with the Act and reporting to the DLC or ARLA
  • Appearing and being heard at ARLA and DLC hearings, appeals and other matters
  • Applying to ARLA for variation, suspension and cancellation of licences and managers’ certificates
  • Making appeals to ARLA
  • Issuing infringement notices in conjunction with the Police
  • Providing information for the development of local alcohol policies
  • Exercising the power to seize alcohol and containers without a warrant for the purpose of analysis.

Medical Officer of Health: The Medical Officer of Health (MOH) has a statutory reporting role with functions that include:

  • Enquiring into all applications for licences and renewals (but not managers’ certificates)
  • Making reports to the DLC or ARLA where there are matters in opposition
  • Providing information for the development of local alcohol policies
  • Applying to ARLA for suspension of an on-licence or club licence where there is evidence of non-compliance with public health requirements.

Police: Have power of entry to any licensed premises at any reasonable time and may require seeing the licence or any records required to establish compliance with the Act (similar to the functions of an inspector). They may also seize alcohol and containers without a warrant for the purposes of analysis. Their functions include:

  • Enquiring into all applications for licences, manager’s certificates and renewals
  • Monitoring licensed premises’ compliance with the Act
  • Reporting to the DLC or ARLA where there are matters in opposition
  • Ordering the closure of a licensed premises in the case of rioting, fighting or serious disorder, a threat to public health, public nuisance or for certain criminal offences
  • Applying to ARLA for the variation, suspension or cancellation of a licence
  • Advising ARLA when a licensee or manager has been convicted of an offence relating to the sale and supply of alcohol to minors, unauthorised sale or supply, sale or supply to intoxicated person, or allowing persons to become intoxicated
  • Issuing infringement notices
  • Prosecuting breaches of the law.