Minimum purchase age

The minimum age for purchasing alcohol in New Zealand is 18 years. It's an offence for licensed premises to sell or supply alcohol to anyone under 18 years old (minors).

Evidence of age

Licensees and managers are responsible for making sure their customers are of legal drinking age.

If you or your staff are unsure, ask for proof of age from a valid photographic identification such as:

  • a passport
  • a drivers licence (issued under the Land Transport Act 1998)
  • a HANZ 18+ card.

HANZ 18+ Card

Minors on licensed premises

  Undesignated area Supervised area Restricted area
Under 18 and with a parent or legal guardian Allowed Allowed Not allowed
Under 18 without a parent or legal guardian Allowed Not allowed Not allowed

Minors buying alcohol

  Undesignated area Supervised area Restricted area
Under 18 with or without a parent or legal guardian Not allowed Not allowed Not allowed

Minors working at licensed premises

Staff position Undesignated area Supervised area Restricted area
Bar / serving liquor Allowed Allowed Not allowed
Entertainment Allowed Allowed if with a parent or legal guardian Not allowed
Serving food / cleaning, stocktaking Allowed Allowed Allowed
Duty, acting or temporary manager
Not allowed Not allowed Not allowed

Need help?

Alcohol Licensing 
Phone: 04 801 3760
Email: secretaryDLC@wcc.govt.nz