Northland police say new alcohol laws will help reduce the harm caused by alcohol abuse in public areas but home-based drinking remains an issue.

This month the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act became law, which affects the way alcohol is sold and consumed in New Zealand.

Far North alcohol harm reduction officer Senior Constable Graeme Wright said while the laws will help reduce the harm caused by alcohol abuse in public areas, home-based drinking still causes a lot of problems.

"Family violence, which often has alcohol in the mix, continues to be a significant problem in Northland. Disorder at parties where people have had too much to drink is also an issue.


Mr Wright said at this time of year with office parties, barbecues and family gatherings there was a tendency to drink too much which could lead to disorder or family violence. People needed to take care with the amount they drank wherever they were.

"Don't drink and drive. Drinking and boating also don't mix and can have lethal consequences."

Mr Wright says the Far North gets very busy at this time of year with many visitors coming into the area.

"We want our locals, as well as visitors, to enjoy the summer in Northland. Have a good time, but look after yourselves and each other."

Whangarei/Kaipara alcohol harm reduction officer Acting Sergeant Mark Andrews said police would be conducting numerous checks on licensed premises to ensure compliance with the new laws.

Mr Andrews reported so far under the laws the licensees were complying, although police had issued offence notices for breaching the liquor ban. The new law was put in place to help reduce the harm caused by excessive use of alcohol and reminded people they need to drink responsibly, he said.

Under the new legislation a parent or legal guardian were the only people who can supply under-18s. Parents or legal guardians can also give written consent for others to supply alcohol to under-18s.