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Alcohol-free zones

There are alcohol-free zones in Tauranga where you can’t carry or consume alcohol. 

Tauranga has a mix of permanent and temporary alcohol-free zones. These areas are used to help manage drinking in public places. 

Sealed or unopened alcohol can be transported within alcohol-free zones.  For example, you can purchase alcohol in an alcohol-free zone and carry it to your car or house. 

Permanent and temporary alcohol-free zones are signposted.

 The following areas operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • Tauranga city centre
  • Mount Maunganui, including the main beach but excluding Pilot Bay
  • Memorial Park and the Fourth Avenue extension 
  • Waitaha Reserve, including the Welcome Bay Hall site
  • Arataki Park 
  • Merivale shops and Surrey Grove Reserve 
  • public places in and around Greerton Village and Brookfield Shopping Centre
  • Topaz Drive Reserve and Gordon Spratt Reserve.

The following areas operate between 9pm and 7am every day:

  • All beaches, reserves and public places on the seaward side of Papamoa Beach Road, Taylor Road, Motiti Road and Karewa Parade.

During the New Year period (26 December to 6am 6 January) the alcohol-free zones in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa are extended. 

New Year period and temporary alcohol-free zones

Permanent alcohol-free zones

Arataki Park
Memorial park
Mount Maunganui
Tauranga CBD
Waitaha Reserve

Why are there alcohol-free zones?

A small number of alcohol-free zones were introduced in Tauranga in 2004 in response to community requests. Since then, more zones have been added as and when the need arises.

Members of the community are able to suggest alcohol-free zones to Council. We investigate the suggestions and consult the public on them. If we find that an alcohol-free zone may help improve behaviour in some areas, we will put one in place.

Rights and responsibilities in an alcohol-free zone

Under section 147 of the Local Government Act 2002 the police enforce alcohol-free zones. The only exception applies to alcohol containers that remain unopened in the alcohol-free zone:

  • If the alcohol is legally purchased, then transported through the alcohol ban area (e.g. for consumption at home or at a friend or relative’s residence who lives either in or next to the alcohol-free zone).
  • If an alcohol store (either bottle shop or bar) is carrying out its normal operations (e.g. sales or stock deliveries). 

In both circumstances the container must be sealed and the alcohol must be promptly removed from the alcohol-free zone.

Alcohol at your event

Various locations within Tauranga are designated as being alcohol-free. This means that alcohol can't be carried or consumed at these locations and heavy penalties are in place for those found not abiding by this. If you are planning an event at either of these locations and you still want to have a toast please fill out the application for dispensation from a liquor ban form below and send it to parkingadmin@tauranga.govt.nz.

Please note: Between 26 December and 5 January (inclusive) there are additional areas around the city that are included within the alcohol-free zones.

Police powers of arrest, search, and seizure

(Sections 169 to 245 of the Local Government Act 2002)

The police may search and seize, without warrant, any container (e.g. bag, case, package, or parcel) a person is carrying in an alcohol-free zone as well as any vehicle that is in, or entering, an alcohol-free zone.

Police may arrest any person found to be committing an offence, this includes refusing to comply with the police to leave the alcohol-free zone or to surrender any alcohol in their possession.

An infringement notice relating to a breach of an alcohol-free zone may only be served by a police constable.

Law changes

Instant fines

From 18 December 2013, breach of an alcohol-free zone will no longer be prosecuted through the courts. Instead, a police constable may issue an infringement notice (fine).

The fine may be issued:

  • instantly (without arrest); or 
  • following an arrest for breaching the alcohol ban; or  
  • by post, after the breach has occurred.

Liquor-free and vehicle-free zones in public places bylaw 2013 (3.8mb pdf)

Last Reviewed: 08/05/2018

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