Alcohol reform

District Licensing Committee (DLC) readiness checklist

To further assist TAs in their preparations, LGNZ has prepared a checklist and provides links to information, resources, reference documents and key contacts in other councils willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Click here to view this information. 


Legislation reforming New Zealand's alcohol laws was passed by Parliament on 11 December 2012, received Royal Assent on 18 December and is now law. 

In the initial stages of the Parliamentary process, the legislation was known as the Alcohol Reform Bill, but it was split into three Bills at the end of the Committee of the Whole House stage. The alcohol reform legislation now comprises of three Acts:

The new laws replace the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 in stages over the next 12 months.

On 19 December 2012, the changes were that:

  • The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) replaced the Liquor Licensing Authority;
  • Any new licence application will be an interim licence - the licensee will have to apply for a new licence after one year; and
  • Territorial authorities can now start drafting and consulting on their Local Alcohol Policies (LAPs); these are optional, not mandatory.

On 18 June, the next tranche of changes occurred:

  • The new criteria apply to all licence applications filed after this date; and
  • Objections can be made on the basis of the new criteria.

On 18 December, the rest of the Act takes effect. This includes:

The main changes for local government under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act are:

  • The move from national to local decision-making;
  • Local alcohol policies (LAPs) with legal standing (LAPS are not mandatory);
  • Expanded licence criteria and grounds for objection;
  • New criteria for alcohol control bylaws (liquor bans);
  • National default maximum trading hours; and
  • New cost recovery regime through fees.

The following diagram explains the new roles for territorial authorities under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

Territorial Authority

  • Manages transition from DLA to DLC
  • Establishes and maintains DLC(s)
  • Prepares local alcohol policy (optional)
  • Prepares local alcohol control area by-laws
  • Plans and performs administrative functions

DLC and Secretary of the DLC

  • DLC determines applications
  • Secretary receives and distributes applications, objections and reports
  • Secretary maintains a record of applications and decisions

Chief Executive

  • Is the Secretary of the DLC but may delegate this role
  • Appoints inspector(s) and ensures they can exercise their role independently
  • Can appoint a Commissioner as Chair of DLC (if requested by the territorial authority)


  • Inquire into licence applications and file reports with the relevant licensing body
  • Monitor compliance with the Act and initiate enforcement proceedings where necessary
  • Able to issue some infringement notices
  • Collaborate with medical officers of health and police


The Ministry of Justice website is the official source of information for what is changing, when the changes are happening, who will be affected, and how the new system will work. The pages include factsheets that anyone can use and will be updated regularly over the first 12 months to help affected groups prepare for changes that relate to them. Any queries can be sent to: is working with the Ministry of Justice, territorial authorities, and other stakeholders to implement the alcohol reforms.


The National Regulatory Agencies Steering Group CollaborAction website was launched on 26 November 2013 to provide front line agencies with the tools and information they need to monitor and enforce the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The launch followed weeks of work with web development company Kineo and subject matter expert members of the steering group in what was a really collaborative effort to get the site off the ground. The site contains training resources, key information and educational material for the police, licencing inspectors, medical officers of health and the fire service. 

Everyone who has registered to attend the training workshops will be able to log into the site; police able to log into Te Puna will also be able to log into CollbaborAction through the site. The address is  The site is a work in progress and more content will be added as it is developed.

Logging in to collaborAction

Here are some questions and answers on logging into CollaborAction.

How can I get a log in?
Police can log into Te Puna on the intranet to complete the five specialist police topics. Log in details are also being sent via email to everyone who registered to attend a workshop.  Everyone that registered and attended a workshop will receive a user name and log in to log in to the secure section of the website

Can they log in through their own intranets?
Everyone will have to log in directly to the site, which they will have to search for.  Only Police staff will be able to do specialist training of the internal training site Te Puna, this does not give them access to the CollaborAction website.

Is there a help desk in case I can’t get in?
No. If you have problems, please alert your own resources. Otherwise, email

Can I use my current password?
Yes, when you first log in you will be prompted to change your password. 


Date updated: 20 May 2019