New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

2012 Alcohol Act seems to be working as intended

21 March 2018

The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority says it has no reason to consider that the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 is operating otherwise than intended in terms of its object as set out in section 4.

The annual report of the Authority for the year to 30 June 2017 has been tabled in Parliament.

"Some district licensing committees have reported that they have found the legislation to be reasonably clear and workable; others have found areas which might warrant review," it says.

"In their reports to the Authority, district licensing committees have raised a range of policy issues relating to the clarity of the Act. The Authority has referred these issues to the Ministry of Justice for analysis."

The report says some district licensing committees have noted that each district has its own forms, practices and procedures for dealing with licensing applications and this is said to result in inconsistencies across the country "resulting in public frustration".

"Some district licensing committees would welcome more consistent processes, much in the same way that driver licence processes are streamlined across the country. The Authority considers this is something with which Local Government NZ might be able to assist if it is an issue."

Processing and disposal of applications

The Authority says the number of applications received, disposed of, and on hand have all decreased from January 2010 to June 2017.

The number of applications received decreased from a monthly high of 183 in 2010 to 55 in June 2017. The number of disposals decreased from a monthly high of 200 in 2010 to 48 in June 2017. 

As a result, applications on hand decreased from 552 as at 31 January 2010 to 164 as at 30 June 2017. The Authority notes that the enactment of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 means the nature of applications it hears has changed, with a number of application types having devolved to district licensing committees.

The average time taken to dispose of cases has been relatively stable between January 2010 and June 2017, with an average of 133 days in June 2017.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019