Alcohol Bans

Masterton has a bylaw controlling alcohol in some public spaces.

The bylaw in place includes:

  • Masterton CBD – at all times
  • Skate park – at all times
  • Queen Elizabeth Park – 9pm to 7am

Maps showing the area are available to view in the bylaw.

Masterton CBD alcohol-free pamphlet (PDF, 1MB)

Temporary alcohol bans

Temporary alcohol bans are sometimes put in place for major events to ensure the event is a safe place for everyone to enjoy. Notification of a temporary alcohol ban will be made clear on all event information before the event. There will also be signs at the event itself.

Rights and responsibilities in alcohol ban areas

(Section 147 of the Local Government Act 2002)

The police enforce alcohol bans.

The only exception applies to sealed alcohol containers that remain sealed in the alcohol ban area:

  • If the alcohol is legally purchased, then transported through the alcohol ban area (e.g. for consumption at home or at a friend or relative’s residence who lives either in or next to the alcohol ban area)
  • If an alcohol store (either bottle shop or bar) is carrying out its normal operations (e.g. sales or stock deliveries).

In both circumstances, the container must be sealed and the alcohol must be promptly removed from the alcohol ban area.

Police powers of arrest, search, and seizure
(Sections 169 to 245 of the Local Government Act 2002)

  • The police may search and seize, without a warrant, any container (e.g. bag, case, package, or parcel) a person is carrying in an alcohol ban area as well as any vehicle that is in, or entering, an alcohol ban area.
  • Police may arrest any person found to be committing an offence, this includes refusing to comply with the police to leave the alcohol ban area or to surrender any alcohol in their possession.
  • An infringement notice relating to a breach of an alcohol ban may only be served by a police constable.

Law changes

Instant fines

From 18 December 2013, breach of an alcohol ban will no longer be prosecuted through the courts. Instead, a police constable may issue an infringement notice (fine). The fine may be issued:

  • Instantly (without arrest)
  • Following an arrest for breaching the alcohol ban
  • By post, after the breach has occurred
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