Licensed Auckland supermarkets and bottle stores would be able to sell alcohol for up to two more hours each day under the council's latest proposal.

Auckland's provisional Local Alcohol Policy is continuing its ping-pong between authorities.

The latest scheme notified by Auckland Council this week would allow off-licences to be issued for sales from 7am to 9pm.

This is in response to the council's earlier proposal of an earliest opening time of 9am being ruled "unreasonable" by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority following appeals.


Under legislation, the backstop maximum hours are 7am to 11pm if a council doesn't have a completed Local Alcohol Policy.

The Auckland Council's first crack at its provisional policy was released more than three years ago.

Alcohol Healthwatch executive director Nicki Jackson said the relaxation of opening hours under the council's amendments to its provisional policy was unfortunate.

Earlier opening was associated with increased harm to heavy drinkers by their being able to buy alcohol earlier in the morning, she said. It also exposed schoolchildren to additional alcohol marketing.

However, Jackson said the authority's confirmation of the council's plan for 9pm off-licence closing was a good thing; this rule would have a greater beneficial impact than the harms from the change to the planned earliest opening time.

The council emphasised that the majority of its provisional policy remained unchanged, including a two-year freeze and any new liquor outlets in the city centre and 23 "priority areas" considered most at risk from alcohol-related harm.

Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore said that after a lengthy two-year appeals process the council's focus is now on getting the Local Alcohol Policy into force as soon as possible.

"Since February 2016 alone a total of 23 new off-licences have been granted across the Auckland region.

"We know that high numbers of off-licences in certain areas is associated with increased levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.

"It's hoped that our amendments to the local alcohol policy will complete the remaining regulatory steps quicker so we can get on with reducing alcohol-related harm in our most vulnerable communities", said Cashmore.

The council's amendments to its provisional policy and any appeals will be considered by the authority before the council can decide when the policy comes into effect.