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Uncapping the Voices of Communities: Looking closer at local alcohol policy and district licensing committees in Aotearoa New Zealand
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Executive Summary

When it comes to alcohol advocacy to reduce alcohol-related harm, members of the public and local community organisations face an uphill battle in guaranteeing their voices, stories and realities (which are all evidence) are properly heard by governing authorities.

The specific systems or processes we investigate in this paper are the Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) and District Licensing Committee (DLC) that frame various parts of alcohol licensing, advocacy and sale in local communities. Overall, we find that these LAP and DLC processes are not working for local communities. These processes presume that communities and licence applicants are on the same playing field—they are not. The huge complexity of these processes, as well as limited resources to fight and object to LAP and DLC delays and decisions, plus adding the constant delaying tactics used by industry against LAPs, all point to a structure that is not working effectively or meaningfully for local communities facing high density of liquor or bottle stores and regular alcohol-related harms. As we’ve dug further into these areas, we present some regulatory solutions, as well as local community solutions, to these problems:

  • urgent review and reform of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (SSAA 2012)
  • passing of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill
  • supporting grass-roots groups like Communities Against Alcohol Harm and Community Law’s Alcohol Harm Reduction Project so communities have their say.

In the end, our real focus was to uncap the voices of communities in these systems and push for a fairer system and better outcomes for our communities.

Full paper available for download at the bottom of the page. >>


By Ana Ika and Ronji Tanielu, SPPU Policy Analysts • AUGUST 2022

SPPU Alcohol Report - August 2022

Type: PDF
Size: 910.01 KB
Date: 22 Aug 2022