Friday, 21 June 2019


Alcohol Bans on the Coromandel

The TCDC new alcohol control bylaw takes effect from today, 18 December. We've got a mix of year-round 24/7 town centre bans and Christmas/New Year and long weekend bans on some beaches and seaside reserves.

The Christmas and New Year ban (24/7) runs from 23 December until 6 January on beaches and seaside reserves from Whangapoua to Whangamata and in all of Tairua, Pauanui and Whangamata townships, in addition to the existing 24/7 town centre bans.

You can’t consume, carry or possess alcohol in a ban area, or in a vehicle in the ban area. Examples of breaching the Bylaw could be:

  • • Consuming alcohol in a public place, including inside a vehicle within the ban area.
  • • Carrying or possessing open bottles of alcohol in a public place even if you are just passing through the ban area.

This Bylaw is enforced by the New Zealand Police who can issue fines of $250 for breaching the bylaw. If convicted of an offence against this Bylaw you can receive a fine of up to $20,000.

What you can do within an alcohol ban area:

  • You can carry or transport unopened alcohol from a licensed premise, like a bottle store or supermarket, to your house, friend’s house or somewhere outside of the alcohol ban area as long as it is removed promptly from the ban area.
  • You can carry or transport unopened alcohol to a licensed premise within an alcohol ban area. For example, this might be taking a bottle of wine to a BYO restaurant. Remember you can’t leave the premise with an open alcohol container within the ban area.
  • You can carry or transport unopened alcohol from your house through a banned area to a friend’s house. So if you want to walk down the road for a BBQ then you are able to take a bottle of wine or some beers with you.

The Police have discretion around enforcing the Bylaw exemptions, but as a rule of thumb if you remove alcohol from the ban area within an hour from the time you buy it then this is prompt. If you are bringing alcohol into the ban area to go to a licensed premise or a friend’s place, then prompt travel through the ban area would be going directly to your destination.

Key things to remember, it must be unopened not just closed, and don’t loiter in public places in ban areas with alcohol - just take it promptly to your destination.

There are also other exemptions to the ban areas:

  • You can apply in writing for an exemption to the rule, for details of how to do this read the full bylaw on our website here.
  • If you have a certified self-contained vehicle you can carry, possess or consume alcohol within a ban area as long as:

o Alcohol is only consumed within the vehicle, and

o It is parked in a designated freedom camping area (see our Freedom Camping Bylaw), and

o The number of people inside the vehicle does not exceed the maximum number of allowed on the vehicle’s self-containment certificate.

Check out the rules for your area on our interactive map here. For more information, please visit the TCDC website



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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.