Control of Liquor in Public Places 2012

This purpose of this Bylaw is to enhance the safety of the public and allow their responsible enjoyment of public places in the District. It provides for liquor control in specified public places, at specified dates and times, with the aim of reducing alcohol-related harm and offences.

The bylaw includes maps of liquor ban areas.

About the Bylaw 

What is the effect of the Control of Liquor in Public Places Bylaw?

The Bylaw controls possession or consumption of alcohol within broadly specified areas. Possession or consumption of alcohol in those public places for which the Bylaw is operating is prohibited with some exemptions.

The house where I live is in an area controlled by the Bylaw. Does that mean I can’t drink on my own property or transport alcohol to or from home?

Definitely not. The Bylaw generally does not apply to residential properties as typically they couldn’t be considered public places. However, the Bylaw controls may apply to the footpath and street outside your house, so you shouldn’t have alcohol at a street party unless you have an exemption. As long as alcohol is in unopened bottles, you don’t breach the Bylaw bringing alcohol from a supplier, or taking alcohol from your home to another residence, or a licensed restaurant or cafe even if they are in an area controlled by the Bylaw.

What powers do the Police have relating to breaches of the Bylaw?

The Police have powers of arrest, search and seizure without warrant, in relation to liquor that is in a public place in breach of the Bylaw.

What about camping grounds that are in areas controlled by the Bylaw?

Camping sites that have been hired are not public places, even in Council owned camping grounds. So within reasonable limits, nothing prevents consumption of alcohol on a camp site you have rented. The common areas such as roads, paths and some common facilities through a camping ground are public places and the Bylaw applies.

Can I take alcohol with my picnic to Rabbit Island and other reserves?

Yes you can take alcohol with your picnic to Rabbit Island if it is for private consumption. For other parks and reserves you must check if you will be in an area covered by the bylaw - see the maps below. You cannot sell alcohol in any parks or reserves without a Special Licence.

What are the areas that the Bylaw relates to? 

Most urban areas of Tasman District are included in the places controlled by the Bylaw. Different hours of control apply to different locations, ranging between 24 hour bans in Motueka, Richmond and Takaka business and other specified areas, through to 7pm to 7am bans in most remaining urban areas. Controls start at 4pm over summer for the wider Kaiteriteri, Riwaka and Marahau areas. The specific towns with surrounding rural areas that have areas controlled by the bylaw are listed below. Click on each location to download the relevant map showing the areas and times that the controls apply.

Obtaining an Exemption

Who can apply for an exemption from the Bylaw?

Anyone can apply to Council for permission to run an event or occasion where a limited amount of alcohol will be consumed in a public place that is controlled by the Bylaw. There are also a number of activities that are automatically exempt from the restrictions imposed by the Bylaw. Transporting alcohol in unopened bottles or cans through any area where the Bylaw restrictions apply and consuming alcohol in licensed premises is permitted.  

What does an exemption permit?

Anyone granted a written exemption from the Bylaw is permitted to run an event or occasion which allows a limited amount of alcohol to be consumed in a public place that is controlled by the Bylaw. Examples may be a bridal party wishing to consume alcoholic drinks during a photo session in one of Council's parks or reserves, or at a popular beach such as Kaiteriteri, during a time when the Bylaw would otherwise prevent that from happening. Or it could be as simple as a work or family group wanting to have a picnic in similar locations, and wanting to include alcoholic drinks in the range of refreshments being taken.

Does an exemption allow sale of alcohol?

No. If sales of alcohol are to be made at an event or occasion, a “special licence” is required.

How do I go about getting an exemption?

Download the application form :

Fill the form in and deliver, post, scan and email, or fax the form to:

  • Tasman District Council, 189 Queen Street, Private Bag 4, Richmond 7050
  • Email:
  • Fax: 03 543 9524

How much will an exemption cost?

There is no charge. It’s totally free!

How long will it take grant an exemption?

Allow a minimum of five working days for Council staff to process an exemption application. Staff may wish to talk to you about some of the detail of your application, so you need to be available by telephone for those discussions.

Is Council’s written permission guaranteed?

No. Council will not allow an exemption from the Bylaw unless it is satisfied that the proposed event or occasion will be controlled to ensure:

  • a limited amount of alcohol will be available to any person;
  • that “host responsibility” arrangements such as provision of food, low or non-alcoholic drinks and alternative transport options are available if necessary;
  • that controls on the number of people attending are in place;
  • that persons under 18 years of age will not have access to alcohol;
  • that the activity or event is unlikely to lead to alcohol related harm.

When I’ve got the written permission, what do I do with it?

Organise and run the event or occasion as agreed in the detail you’ve specified in the application, and comply with any additional conditions that may be included in the written permission. Have the written permission available for the Police to see should they arrive at the event.

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