Supply of alcohol from licensed premises

New Zealand law states that the minimum age to purchase alcohol is 18 years.

In 2012, one in every 13 (7.8%) New Zealand adolescent drinkers under 18 years of age reported being able to buy alcohol themselves.

Of students who bought their own alcohol, 69% reported buying it from a bottle store, 15% from a supermarket and 17% from other places.

One-quarter (25%) of students who purchased their own alcohol reported that they almost never or hardly ever are asked for ID. This prevalence was higher (28%) amongst students living in neighbourhoods of high deprivation [18].

In New Zealand, buying alcohol when under 18 years of age is a strong predictor of heavy drinking [19]. Therefore, to reduce alcohol-related harm to young people, action must be focused towards preventing underage sales.

Reducing the number of licensed premises (particularly off-licences) in a community may also have an impact on reducing underage sales of alcohol.

Click here for a factsheet on the harms from drinking in adolescence

Click here for a factsheet on trends in adolescent drinking in New Zealand

Click here for a factsheet on the role of alcohol availability in adolescent drinking