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New liquor laws in force today

Changes to liquor laws come into play from tonight, following the introduction of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act last year.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says this is the first time in two decades the government is restricting rather than relaxing drinking laws.

On-licences including clubs, bars and restaurants must stop trading at 4am. Hotel minibars are exempt from this rule.

Off-licences such as supermarkets, liquor outlets and wine shops must close at 11pm this evening. Outlets are no longer allowed to promote alcohol discounted by more than 25%.

Host responsibilities mean water must be provided to patrons and food must be available. There also has to be information on transport options.

As under the old law, outlets cannot serve intoxicated people or allow them to stay on their premises.

However, the law change has introduced a new definition of “intoxicated” to mean someone who is affected by alcohol, drugs or other substances and who is displaying two or more of the following conditions: affected appearance, impaired behaviour, impaired co-ordination or impaired speech.

Adults can now also be fined up to $2000 for suppling alcohol to minors (under 18 years old) without their parent’s express consent. Minors who are married, in a civil union or living in a defacto relationship are excluded from this law.

The Health Promotion Agency and DraftFCB have produced a campaign about "cool dads" to get this message across. 

On the spot fines of $250 can be given for drinking or having an open container of alcohol in liquor ban areas; presenting fake IDs or using another’s ID to buy alcohol; and giving or lending an ID to an underage person if there is knowledge they will use it to buy alcohol.

For outlets, the changes have broadened the criteria around how  liquor licences are obtained and renewed.

More by NBR Staff

Comments and questions

Any chance of banning any advertising that links drinking with masculinity. Yes, I'm talking about you Tui Billboard.

Huh? So if a woman wants a beer that makes her a male stereotype does if? What's next? Bringing back the "Ladies Lounge"?

Yeah Right

Thanks Nanny-National. It's so good we have you to look after us, rather than each of us taking personal responsibilty for our actions.

Yeah, because that's worked so well hasn't it ?

Yeah, where would be without Nanny Collins telling us where, how, who, what, when we can drink?

Seriously, first she grants massive extensions for spying and surveillance laws and now wants to tell us how we can drink. Now she can spy on us while we drink too much? Get a life woman ... your own one preferably.

You were voted in to get the govt. out of our lives ... epic fail.

Yes, voting for National at the last election causes me considerable regret.

Collins can't imagine people not wanting to be in bed by 4am. What next in these increases in state power and erosions of personal liberty?

That Collins is sincere in her thinking is even more disturbing...this just smacks of a geezer yelling "Get off my lawn!" at all the nincompoop kids out there.

It is a start, but there is a long way to go - raising back to 20 or 21 would not be a bad idea as these guy load up and then go out and invariably end up as dead or disabled statistics

The amount of people who have lost all funcrions from 3am onwards is disturbing, and the people taking advantage of those people cruising waiting for their marks to appear in downright animalistic - don't beleive me/

Go for a walk after 2.30 am and prepare to be disturbed and disgusted by what you see.

I can see disturbed and disgusting people at 2:30 pm let alone 2:30 am. This is just nanny state at work.

National is to blame for repealing the offence to be drunk and disorderly in a public place. There's no way they'd ever bring that back because imagine all those poor National voting liquor outlets squealing and crying. And as if anyone is going to be fined $250 under a government whose Police don't even investigate the rape of 13 year olds.

what catergory does the casino bars come under.

Let's see what fun and games there are on the streets of Wellington and Auckland this weekend when thousands of drunk people who are a) unaware this has even happened and still want a drink, get aggro as a result, and then all spill onto the footpaths at once and b) then try and get home at 4am without the usual public transport options being available.

Good job the law and order minister is behind all this as she will be getting plenty of indirect business as a result. I predict a complete shambles that will make our cities even more violent and messy.

It puzzles me who these people are who seem to feel it necessary to be able to drink at 4 am in the morning. Do they have no jobs?

Nana, is that you?

If you are working Monday - Friday, then you may well be up at 4am on Saturday or Sunday morning without issue. If you are working nights, particularly hospitality staff, then 4am will be no trouble.