Why are there alcohol-free areas?
Alcohol-free areas help manage drinking in public places. The areas have been identified as locations where alcohol has caused or is likely to cause alcohol-related crime or disorder. A small number of areas were introduced in Tauranga in 2004. Since then, more areas have been added as and when the need arises.
Members of the community are able to suggest alcohol-free areas to council. We investigate the suggestions to see if there is evidence of crime and disorder that has been caused or made worse by alcohol consumption. If we find that an alcohol ban may help improve behaviour in an area, we will put one in place.
Rights and responsibilities in an alcohol-free area
Under section 147 of the Local Government Act 2002, the police enforce alcohol-free areas. The only exception applies to alcohol containers that remain unopened in the alcohol-free area.
- If the alcohol is legally purchased, then transported through the alcohol-free 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 area).
- 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 area.
Alcohol at your event
If you are planning an event in an alcohol-free area and you want to celebrate with a toast, please fill out the application for dispensation from an alcohol-free area form below and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: between 26 December and 6am 6 January (inclusive) there are additional areas around the city that are included within the alcohol-free areas. Refer to our New Year period and temporary alcohol-free areas.
Police powers of arrest, search and seizure
(Sections 147, 169 and 170 of the Local Government Act 2002)
Police may search and seize, without warrant, any container (e.g. bag, case, package or parcel) a person is carrying in an alcohol-free area as well as any vehicle that is in, or entering, an alcohol-free area.
Police may also arrest any person found to be committing an offence, including refusing to comply by leaving the alcohol-free area or surrendering any alcohol in their possession.
A police constable may issue an infringement notice (fine).
The fine may be issued:
- instantly (without arrest)
- following an arrest for breaching the alcohol ban
- by post, after the breach has occurred.
Alcohol Control Bylaw 2018 (3.8mb pdf)