Formal consultation

Submissions closed on 11 September 2022 with hearings and deliberations taking place on 28 September 2022. The provisional Local Alcohol Policy was adopted on 6 October 2022 and became subject to appeal. Three appeals were received.

Waikato District Council has reviewed its Local Alcohol Policy and is proposing a number of changes.

The policy sets alcohol licensing criteria for when, where and how alcohol is sold in the district. Licensing bodies must consider the policy when they make decisions about alcohol licensing applications.

Proposed changes to the policy include:

  • Restrictions on the number of standalone bottle stores in some parts of the district;
  • A new discretionary condition prohibiting off-licences from being able to offer ‘buy now pay later’ schemes has been added;
  • A definition of ‘site’ has been included to avoid any confusion as to what constitutes a site;
  • Additional clarity has been provided where there is a requirement for there to be a certain distance between a proposed licensed premises and an existing facility or other licensed premises;
  • For special licences, the provision prohibiting a one way door condition applying earlier than two hours before the conclusion of the event has been removed; and
  • Two new clauses on remote sales have been added including when alcohol can be bought online and delivered and who receives the delivery of alcohol.

There are three options for the future of the Local Alcohol Policy.

Option 1: Council retains the current Local Alcohol Policy

Option 2: Council adopts the draft Local Alcohol Policy

Option 3: Council revokes the Local Alcohol Policy

For more information on each option, download the Statement of Proposal found in Document Library.

Early engagement results

Early engagement on the Local Alcohol Policy took place from 1 June 2022 to 1 July 2022 and focused on the community's views on bottle stores in the district.

A total of 206 submissions were received. Responses to the submission questions are noted below.

Do you believe there should be restrictions on the number of bottle stores in your town?

Yes – 84% (171)

No – 13% (26)

Other response – 3% (6)

NB - 3 submitters didn't answer this question.

Reasons for imposing further restrictions

Submitters noted that there should be further restrictions on bottle stores because:

  • There are more than enough bottle off-licences in the town;
  • It’s socially responsible to impose more restrictions;
  • The Te Kauwhata Trust sells alcohol and gives back to the community;
  • The town’s population is too small to support more bottle stores
  • Not family friendly to allow more bottle stores;
  • Bottle stores fuel crime such as family violence and unruly behaviour;
  • Exacerbates the lives of people who live in poverty leading to poor outcomes in life;
  • Te Kauwhata will lose its natural beauty with more bottle stores; and
  • Health implications of making alcohol more available in the community.

Reasons for not imposing further restrictions

Submitters noted that there should not be further restrictions on bottle stores because:

  • more bottle stores provide more competition and cheaper prices;
  • other types of bottle shops should be allowed to open for example, specialisation in New Zealand beer and wine;
  • bottle stores don’t attract unruly behaviour;
  • there’s no limits on bakeries;
  • towns should be able to choose; and
  • the number of bottle stores won’t make a difference to how much alcohol people buy and that there should be some restrictions but not at the expense of competition.

Thinking about the number of bottle stores in your town, do you think there are:

Far too many: 23% (48)

Too many: 19% (39)

About right: 46% (95)

Too few: 8% (16)

Far too few: 3% (7)

NB - 1 submitter didn't answer this question.

When developing the Local Alcohol Policy in 2013, we asked the community the same question about their thoughts of the number of bottle stores in their area:

● 60% believed the number of stores was about right

● 24% believed there were too many stores

● 4% believed there were too few / far too few

● 13% were unsure.

Please specify the town you are referring to in the previous question.



Te Kauwhata

31% (63)


27% (54)


11% (23)


8% (17)


7% (15)


6% (12)


4% (8)


1% (2)

Cambridge and Hamilton

1% (2)


1% (2)


0.5% (1)


0.5% (1)

Te Aroha

0.5% (1)


0.5% (1)

NB - 4 submitters didn’t answer this question.