The Council decided at its meeting on 23 November 2017 to not notify its provisional Local Alcohol Policy and to start a new policy development process.

The Council considered options and concluded that the community would be best served by having the opportunity to be part of a fresh policy approach.

The main reasons for the Council deciding on the fresh start option:

  • There has been significant development in the city, particularly in the central city. Starting again will enable these changes to be better considered as part of the LAP development process.
  • The District Plan review is complete and the Christchurch District Plan is operative. This provides certainty regarding planning rules and future development pattern expectations.
  • Community views on alcohol issues are likely to have changed as the city has evolved. Communities may have different views now than in 2012 as they better understand how the new city functions.
  • The city’s hospitality industry has evolved over the past five years and has new people involved and new ways of operating.
  • With a number of LAPs now in place around the country there is a much better opportunity to look at what is and isn’t working based on evidence. This could help the Council to have a LAP that better targets issues in a workable way.

What is a Local Alcohol Policy and why have one?

A LAP, enabled by the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, aims to minimise alcohol related harm in the city and ensure the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol is undertaken safely and responsibly and that harm caused by excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol is reduced.

More specifically, the benefits of having a LAP are that it can: 

  • set local maximum trading hours for all licences in the district rather than relying on the national maximum trading hours (section 45 of the Act);
  • enable the density and location of licensed premises to be controlled;
  • determine whether further licences should be issued; and
  • suggest discretionary conditions.

 Having a Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) will give Christchurch residents greater influence over when, where and how alcohol is sold in the city.

What happens from here?

The Council has asked staff to come back as soon as practicable with options for developing a new draft Local Alcohol Policy. Once the Council has decided on its preferred approach a detailed project plan can be prepared that will provide opportunities for community views to be included and considered.

The Council is required to consult with the Police, Medical Officer of Health and licensing inspectors as part of preparing its draft LAP. In addition specific consultation will be undertaken with Community Boards, residents groups, health groups and the hospitality sector.

Residents will have the opportunity to be involved and we will soon be providing full information on how this will happen – so watch this space.

If you want to receive information on the LAP process as it progresses you can sign up for email updates here.