A local approach to alcohol licensing
Our Local Alcohol Policy (PDF 123.8 KB) works alongside Government legislation.
Alcohol harm minimisation
We work with Police, Regional Public Health, ACC, Upper Hutt City Council, the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC), the Fire Service and the Hospitality Association to manage public consumption of alcohol. This involves creating and policing liquor ban areas, event management, dealing with enforcement and licensing issues, alcohol accords and education activities.
Drinking in public places
Extensive areas of Lower Hutt are now alcohol free zones during the daytime. This includes many of our parks, gardens, sportsgrounds and other community spaces. You can check the maps in our Alcohol in public places bylaw to see the rules on drinking in a specific public area.
Contact us to find out about catering for special events.
Noise and licensed premises
You can report noise at a licensed premise at any time, day or night.
Repeated or ongoing noise problems can affect our decisions about the alcohol licence for a specific business or premise. Council can issue abatement notices or decline applications to renew a licence if noise and nuisance become consistent problems.
Environmental Health inspectors inspect various types of premises for licensing purposes, including premises that sell alcohol. Our people also respond to complaints about the operation of licensed premises.
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.
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.
Below is a summary of points covered under the Act:
Parental consent is needed to supply alcohol to a person under 18. If alcohol is supplied to a minor - it must be done responsibly. There is no age at which it is illegal to drink alcohol in New Zealand.
Read more at alcohol.org.nz – the site includes resources to help you model responsible drinking for your kids.
Councils can adopt local alcohol policies to make local rules for alcohol licensing. Read our local alcohol policy
You can also make objections to individual alcohol licences on a wide range of matters.
Alcohol promotions are controlled so they don’t encourage excessive alcohol consumption or drinking by people under 18.
Supermarkets and grocery stores must limit the display and advertising of alcohol to a single non prominent area of their store.
Regulations may be made to ban some alcohol products.
If you want to complain about an alcohol ad, we suggest you talk to the Advertising Standards Authority. If you think a local business isn’t promoting alcohol appropriately, feel free to let us know so we can follow this up.
- On-licences have maximum hours of 8am–4am.
- Off-licences have maximum hours of 7am–11pm.
Council has the right to further restrict these trading hours.
Where alcohol can be sold
Dairies and convenience stores will not be issued with licences.
Supermarkets and other stores will not be able to set up stores within their stores for a full off-licence.
How licences are issued
District licensing committees in each district issue licences. Council runs the local district licensing committee – view its recent decisions.
We take a range of factors into account before issuing a licence, including the object of the Act, our own policy, design and layout, and amenity and good order.
Medical Officers of Health can report on all licences. Appeals and enforcement matters are dealt with by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA).
Conditions on licences
On-licences and club licensees must provide:
- free drinking water
- non-alcoholic drinks
- low-alcohol drinks
- help with information about transport.
There is scope for any reasonable condition to be imposed on licences, including the conditions we set out in our local alcohol policy.
Special licences for large scale events may also come with special conditions.
Fees for licences are based on recouping the costs of administering the system and will vary depending on the risk profile of the premises. These fees are set by Council bylaw. Find out more about our fees and how we assess risk profiles for different alcohol vendors.
Go to alcohol.org.nz for more information on how the law punishes people who break their licence conditions.