Auckland Regional Alcohol Project Group

The Auckland Region Alcohol Project Group calls on the Government to initiate a ‘sustained campaign’ to ensure that young people are required to produce photographic ID when attempting to purchase alcohol from licensed premises. This follows the purchase of a mountain of alcohol without the use of ID by a group of young researchers visiting off-licences, supermarkets and grocery stores in the Auckland region.

The research released today by the Alcohol and Public Health Research Unit (APHRU) indicates that the group of 18 year olds who took part in the research were asked less than 40% of the time for ID when purchasing alcohol from off-license premises. Papakura unfortunately provided the worst example with young people successfully purchasing alcohol without ID in 91% of the cases. The research suggests that little effort was made to ID young purchases in this area. The best performing area in the Auckland region was the North Shore, where alcohol purchases were made without ID in 39% of the attempts.

The study involved a group of 18 year olds ‘pseudo-patrons’ attempting to purchase alcohol from randomly selected off-licences in the seven local authority areas within the Auckland Region. The young people were given ten dollars with which to buy the alcohol. In all, 247 premises were visited and each premise was visited on two occasions. The relative ease with which the young people were able to purchase alcohol highlights that photographic ID does not work unless it is checked.

When the legal age of purchasing alcohol was lowered to 18 in 1999, Members of Parliament assured the community that the new legal age would be policed and the introduction of the requirement for photographic ID would result in the establishment of a ‘hard 18’ culture. This clearly hasn’t happened!

It is important that there is increased monitoring and that the Police and District Liquor Licensing Inspectors are resourced to be more effective. It is equally important that there is an ongoing publicity campaign that creates an ID culture for the purchase of alcohol within New Zealand. This will improve the health and wellbeing of young people.
For further information please contact:


Rebecca Williams
Alcohol Healthwatch
Ph:(09) 520 7035 or Email: director@ahw.co.nz