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Local Alcohol Policy

The passing of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 enables Councils to work with their communities to develop a Local Alcohol Policy (LAP).  The LAP is able to establish policy on matters relating to liquor licensing and can address maximum trading hours, location, density, one-way door conditions and discretionary conditions.

The Council has developed a draft LAP with community and key stakeholder input.  Top of the South Councils have also worked closely to align their policies where possible. 

Key Components of the Draft LAP are:

  • Variations on the maximum trading hours set in the Act for on-licences and for off-licences; 
  • Different maximum trading hours for on-licences in the Nelson Inner City zone and other areas of the city and for different types of on-licences:
  1. pubs/taverns/bars/nightclubs in the Inner City Zone (8am to 3am)
  2. pubs/taverns/bars/nightclubs in all other areas (8am to 1am)
  3. restaurants/cafes in all areas (8am to midnight with 1am closing on New Year’s Eve)
  4. club licences (8am to 1am);
  • A mandatory one-way door from 2am for pubs, taverns, bars and nightclubs in the Inner City Zone.
  • Special licences – hours are discretionary up to 24 hours.
  • Various discretionary conditions for on-licences, off-licences, club licences and special licences, including a discretionary one-way door policy for pubs, bars, nightclubs and taverns outside the Inner City Zone.


20 August 2013 - We would like to correct a small error in the Statement of Proposal/draft LAP, which was noticed after making it publicly available. In paragraph 3.2.1 of the draft LAP – the words “Subject to 5.2.2” in the first sentence should be removed (they refer to a non-existent section).

Tell us what you think

Deliberations were scheduled for 27 February but that meeting was reconvened to a date yet to be confirmed.

More information

All enquiries should be directed to the Policy Adviser via email or on +64 3 545 8742.

You can also find further background information here.