Local Alcohol Policy

​​​What is the Local Alcohol Policy?​

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 enables Councils to develop a Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) to set rules concerning the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol. This gives communities a way to tailor alcohol licensing approaches to suit local requirements and help minimise alcohol related harm in the district.

With our LAP in place, the Ashburton District Licensing Committee (DLC) and the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority must use the LAP to make decisions on licence applications in the district.

Council’s Local Alcohol Policy came into force on 28 August 2017​.​

Adopted LAP

Council made a decision on 18 May 2017 for the Local Alcohol Policy to come into effect on 28 August 2017. The decision to bring the policy into effect follows the policy's approval and adoption by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licencing Authority (ARLA) on 5 April 2017.

Before the policy could take effect, Council had to determine a date at least three months from the date of public notification to allow licence holders time to adjust to the new conditions set out in the policy. All affected licence holders will receive a letter from Council advising them if there are any changes to their licences.

We encourage you to learn more about the adopted LAP by viewing the full policy.

Provisional LAP

Council adopted its provisional LAP (pLAP) on Thursday 26 February and publicly notified it on 3 March 2015 in the Ashburton Guardian. The pLAP was developed by a representative working group and involved extensive consultation, surveys and a research report. Submissions were heard by the full Council.

The pLAP has some key changes to licensing in our district. These are:

  • Provides maximum trading hours for on licence premises
    • 7.00am – 2.00am for tavern-style operations
    • 7.00am – 1.00am for restaurants and cafes
    • 7.00am – 12.00 (midnight) Footpath areas – tavern, restaurant or cafes
  • Introduces a mandatory one-way door restriction for on-licence premises in the 'Ashburton urban' area from 1.00am
  • Provides conditions the DLC may apply to licences. This includes security, CCTV cameras, lighting, the number of drinks that can be ordered at one time after a specified time and a one way door for premises outside of the 'Ashburton urban' area.
  • Provides maximum trading hours for all off licences: 8.00am – 9.00pm
  • Provides maximum trading hours for club licences:
    • Sunday – Thursday: 10.00am – 10.00pm
    • Friday and Saturday: 9.00am – 12.00am (midnight)
  • Requires club-licensed premises to have a qualified duty manager on the premises at all times when alcohol is being sold or supplied and there are 20 or more people present


Three appeals were received against the Council's Provisional Local Alcohol Policy. The appellants were Hospitality New Zealand, Progressive Enterprises Limited and Super Liquor Holdings. Hospitality New Zealand eventually withdrew its appeal. Agreement was reached with the other two appellants on discretionary conditions and hours of operation for off licenses. The changes to the discretionary conditions for off licences mirrored those in the Tasman LAP, which had already been approved by ARLA. The hours for off licences were also changed as a result of negotiations from 8am-9pm to 7am-9.30pm.

More information

For more information see the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 or the Ministry of Justice website.

Email us if you have more detailed enquiries.