New laws cut early morning drinking

New alcohol laws coming in on Wednesday will be a "massive change" in the way we buy drink, Hospitality New Zealand president Adam Cunningham says.

Legislation reforming New Zealand's alcohol laws was passed last year but only now comes in effect, most obviously on closing times.

"People will need to be conscious that if they are wanting to buy a bottle of wine to take home, the flexibility of when they would have bought that has been reduced," Cunningham said.

The big changes are:

If you stay out late, your favourite club will no longer be able to serve you alcohol until the wee small hours. Licensed premises will not be able to serve before 8am or after 4am. This is expected to affect Auckland the most, with 300 having to alter hours.

Your local bottle store will have to close by 11pm and cannot open before 7am.

In supermarkets, alcohol can no longer be promoted throughout the store. There will be a single area where displays and promotions are allowed.

Anyone who supplies alcohol to a person under 18 and is not their parent or legal guardian, or doesn't have their express consent, can be fined up to $2000. Express consent may include a personal conversation, an email or text. You must supervise the drinking of alcohol, and provide food and a low/no alcohol option.

There are $250 fines for drinking, or having an open container of, alcohol in a public place in a liquor ban area (now car parks and school grounds, not just streets and parks); presenting a fake ID; using someone else's ID to buy alcohol; or giving or lending an ID to an underage person if you know they intend to buy alcohol.

Sunday Star Times