MEDIA RELEASE: New alcohol law increases uncertainty for clubs

25 August 2023

Circular 23-054

Relevant for Club Committees and Management

Clubs New Zealand is disappointed to see that the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Community Participation) Amendment Bill was passed under urgency earlier this week. 

"The bill has been heralded as a huge win for communities, however, it fails to acknowledge the voices of New Zealand’s clubs and small hospitality operators and the very real contributions that they make to the communities that they operate within,  says Chief Executive, Larry Graham. 

“Clubs New Zealand does not believe that this new legislation will contribute greatly to a reduction in alcohol related harm, instead it will introduce a raft of unintended consequences and increase uncertainty for our industry, which is already struggling under the weight of legislative burden. 

“The new legislation introduces a number of changes, including removing the ability for parties to appeal provisional local alcohol policies, and allowing District Licensing Committees to decline to renew a licence if the licence would be inconsistent with conditions on location or licence density in the relevant LAP. 

“If an LAP imposes location conditions or density restrictions, there are now 320 clubs, 3,000 employees, 6,000 volunteers and 300,000 individual New Zealander’s, who will face the uncertainty that their club and/or place of employment may not have its licence renewed, despite that venue operating in a compliant and safe manner.

“Clubs New Zealand and our members are supportive of the need for a community’s voice to be involved in that community’s decision-making process to ensure that alcohol is enjoyed safely, and that harm is reduced.

“Reducing the number of licenced premises and limiting licensed premises participation is not going to translate to reduced consumption or reduced harm, and sadly opportunities to foster community collaboration and real positive change have been missed.

“Clubs New Zealand believes that alcohol reforms should be focused on harm minimisation and ensuring that when alcohol is consumed it is done so in controlled environments run by responsible hosts.”


For media enquiries, contact:

Clubs New Zealand National Office 0800 425 827

Clubs New Zealand Incorporated (Clubs New Zealand) is a not-for-profit, member led association representing more than 300 clubs around the country including Community Clubs, Cosmopolitan Clubs, Workingmen’s Club, Sports Clubs, and Returned Servicemen’s Associations (RSAs).  Collectively our clubs employ more than 3,000 people and are a home away from home to over 300,000 club members.  To find out more visit



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