This page provides information on the minimum drinking age, designations and intoxication.
Minimum drinking age
The minimum drinking age in New Zealand is 18. It is an offence to sell or supply liquor in licensed premises to people under this age.
There is one exception, which allows the consumption of alcohol by a minor* in certain areas of licensed premises if that person is accompanied by their parent** or legal guardian*** and the parent or legal guardian has bought the liquor for them.
- * A minor is a person under the age of 18.
- ** A parent means natural, adoptive or foster parent.
- *** A guardian is a person's guardian within the meaning of the Care of Children Act 2004. It isn't a family friend, other relative, school teacher or other informal relationship.
People of any age may be in this area. Those under 18 accompanied by a parent or legal guardian may consume liquor although they can't buy it. Any liquor consumed by a minor in an undesignated area must be purchased by the parent or legal guardian.
People under 18 may be present only if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
It is the manager's responsibility to establish proof of the relationship - they are entitled to request ID or other proof to establish that the relationship exists.
In supervised areas, people aged under 18 accompanied by a parent or legal guardian may consume liquor but they can't buy it. Any liquor consumed by a minor in a supervised area must be purchased by the parent or legal guardian.
People under the age of 18 are not permitted in a restricted area.
Evidence of age documents
The Sale of Liquor Act provides for an 'evidence of age' document to be sought by management of licensed premises to ascertain proof of age. An evidence of age document contains a photograph and information that enables the age of the person to be determined.
An evidence of age document is a:
Management is responsible for ensuring they don't supply liquor to minors or allow minors to be on their premises illegally.