Free alcohol will be restricted and rationed with tokens at a Wellington City Labour candidates local body election celebration.

Nothing is being left to chance after the turmoil the party found itself in following a Young Labour summer camp where people were drinking excessive amounts of alcohol "to get absolutely hammered".

Maria Austen reviewed the party's procedures and made several recommendations, prompting an overhaul.

These changes will be put to the test next Saturday night at Te Wharewaka o Pōneke, where Labour candidates are hosting a celebration for local body election night.


There will be a strict finish time of 9pm and a token will be given to key volunteers for one free drink.

There will also be two dedicated welfare officers identified at the beginning of the event who anyone can approach with concerns or complaints over the course of the evening.

It's a very different rule book to 2016 when there was a bar tab and the partying continued to at least midnight.

Labour's Lambton Ward candidate Brian Dawson said the party had learned the hard way to take things more seriously.

"We're a lot more aware than perhaps we were three years ago that we do have to take some accountability and some responsibility for our events, particularly those involving young people."

This time around many candidates are incumbents so the event next Saturday is expected to be somewhat less euphoric than the last, when Lester was elected as the first Labour mayor in Wellington in 30 years.

The tokens sent a clear message and expectation the night was not about getting hammered, Justin Lester's campaign manager Selvi Balasubramaniam said.

"It's a chance for us to get together one final time and close the campaign on a good note."


The trained welfare officers would establish a level of trust that if anything did go wrong, it would be dealt with properly, Balasubramaniam said.

It would still be a fun night, Lester said.

"There will no doubt be some singing some dancing, probably some playing of the air guitar… but we also want to make sure we're responsible hosts."

Over the past few years there has been a cultural shift in attitudes to alcohol, Labour's Southern Ward candidate Fleur Fitzsimons said.

"We're wanting to make sure that on Saturday night we have a party that complies with Labour's alcohol and events policy and ensures that all our volunteers and supporters who come a long can have a good night, and hopefully a celebration, but also can be safe."