Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012: Early Experience with Six Local Alcohol Policies

This report examines the early experiences (within the first year) of six local government regions implementing Local Alcohol Policies under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The approach used qualitative methods (key informant interviews and focus groups) with a range of participants within each of the six regions. Participants included local government representatives, officials from Health and Police, local industry representatives, and people from the local community.


The primary aim of this study was to examine the experiences of local government with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act (the Act), which came fully into force on 18 December 2013. This study also sought to provide insight into and assessment of the impacts and effects of the Act on community involvement through TAs.

The key questions for the research were to understand TAs and wider stakeholders’ experiences of what is working well and not working well in relation to:

  • Developing and implementing alcohol policy.
  • Working with the Act, including the LAP development process.
  • Working with community organisations, local industry and other regulatory partners.
  • The DLC process.


To gain a comprehensive picture of how the Act impacted communities and TAs around the country, six New Zealand communities were selected for this research, representing urban, provincial and rural New Zealand areas. These were defined as follows:

  • Two from Metropolitan areas (population of more than 90,000 residents).
  • Two from Provincial areas (population between 20,000 and 90,000 residents).
  • Two from Rural areas (population fewer than 20,000 residents).

Some TAs included both smaller (rural) and larger (provincial) towns. The locations involved in this research may be unrepresentative of TAs involved with LAPs in that they chose to develop a LAP early on and so participants’ experiences and views may differ from TAs who chose to develop a LAP later.

Key informant interviews and focus groups were used to collect data from a range of participants including local government, Public Health, Police and local industry representatives.2 Also included were members of the public - described in this report as either: ‘community participants’ i.e. individuals or members of organisations who had contributed to the development of the Local Alcohol Policies (LAP) as part of the consultation process; and ‘general public participants’ who were recruited based on not being interested or involved in local politics or issues and who had not contributed to the development of the LAP. These latter participants were included to ascertain the perceptions and viewpoints about the Act, and experiences and knowledge of the consultation process, among the lay public.


Page last modified: 11 Apr 2018