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Tips + Advice


Community Law - Alcohol Licensing

When the alcohol licensing process in New Zealand was updated in 2013, it was hoped that the changes would create more opportunities for communities to have a say in local alcohol licensing decisions. However, the actual experience of local people has been less than positive. This is because everyday people have found it hard to navigate through the legal systems.

In response the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) has now created a new initiative to provide funding to Community Law Centres in cities across the country to support local people who want to object to the opening of new licensed premises, or oppose the renewal of existing licenses.

Community Law Centres aren’t able to represent community objectors directly, what they are able to do is:

  • Provide objectors with advice on the licensing process

  • Provide advice on how to prepare an objection

  • Provide advice on how to appear before a licensing hearing

So far Canterbury and Counties Manukau have rolled out the pilot scheme and the Community Law Centres in those two locations are ready to provide alcohol licensing advice. Other locations nationwide are working through the process to see if they want to participate in the program so if you would like to see this in your area you can reach out to your Community Law Centre directly and provide your feedback.

Should you have a new bottleshop or bar opening up in your area that you feel will be a detriment to the local community, you can reach out to the New Zealand Police who can direct you to the relevant licensing authorities.

If you have any additional questions or would like to learn more, please reach out to:

Graham Shields
Alcohol Harm Prevention Coordinator
National Prevention Centre - Police National Headquarters



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