[Urgent passing of the] Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act (Community Participation) Amendment Bill may have serious consequences for New Zealand wine tourism

24 Aug 2023

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act (Community Participation) Amendment Bill that was passed today may have unintended and serious consequences for New Zealand wine tourism according to New Zealand Winegrowers.

Parliament today passed the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act (Community Participation) Amendment Bill. Licensing authorities will be able to decline to renew a license where it is inconsistent with conditions on location or licence density in a relevant Local Alcohol Policy (LAP).

“We are very disappointed that such an important matter has been passed under urgency today by the government. While the intention of the Bill is to increase community involvement and to reduce alcohol harm, during the submission process we communicated our concerns this Bill could potentially have a major impact on wine tourism and wine trails. We will be closely monitoring the use of this legislation and its impact on businesses.” says Philip Gregan, CEO of NZ Winegrowers.

“Winery cellar doors are traditionally attached to the vineyard or winery, which makes sense as this is where the wine is produced. They are not purely retail premises and can’t easily relocate elsewhere. For wine trails to operate successfully, winery cellar doors also need to be near each other.”

“This Bill could mean that some winery cellar doors will now be unable to sell wine and be forced to close, if an LAP imposes proximity provisions relating to sites such as schools or a church, or there are restrictions on the density of licenses. These provisions would apply irrespective of whether the winery cellar door is well run or valued by the community. This makes little or no sense given winery cellar doors are in the lowest risk category of licence, where wine is available to be tasted, enjoyed, and purchased.”

It is yet another blow to wine businesses - during a time when they are already struggling with surging production costs, labour shortages, and increasing excise tax.

“It is disheartening that this has passed without due consideration of the unintended possible consequences. There is little doubt these changes will have a negative knock-on effect in our wine tourism regions, where wine tourists bring much needed income to support local jobs and businesses.”




Editor’s notes:

  • Review New Zealand Winegrower’s full submission here.
  • Over 260 New Zealand wineries offer over 500 wine tourism experiences.
  • Pre-covid, the international wine tourist spent 27% more than the average holiday visitor and 23% of international visitors visit a winery or wine tourism experience (source International Visitor Survey – Year End March 2019).
  • New Zealand wine is exported to more than 100 countries and is New Zealand’s fifth largest export good.
  • Despite only producing one percent of the world’s wine, in 2022 New Zealand was the world’s sixth largest wine exporter by value.


For further information contact:

Chrissy Powlesland
Communications Manager
New Zealand Winegrowers
021 331 398


Images available here: https://www.nzwine.com/en/media/image-galleries/

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