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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 an 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.

Castlepoint and Riversdale Beach Alcohol-Free Zones

Public Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Masterton District Council Alcohol Control Bylaw 2018 and Section 147 of the Local Government
Act 2002 the Masterton District Council has placed a prohibition on the consumption or possession of intoxicating alcohol in the places and at the times listed below:

The prohibition of Alcohol is intended to run from: 6pm Thursday 30 December 2021 – 6am Saturday 1 January 2022

Areas – Riversdale

  • Orui Station/Riversdale Road intersection, and along Riversdale Road to Riversdale township
  • Bodle Drive to the lagoon and including Riversdale Beach from the lagoon to the Southern Riversdale Reserve to the water’s edge
  • From Blue Pacific Parade and Bodle Drive intersection along Blue Pacific Parade to, and including, the Southern Riversdale Reserve, including the beach to the water’s edge
  • From Riversdale Road and Pinedale Crescent intersection along Pinedale Crescent to the intersection with Blue Pacific Parade
  • The southern terrace off Palm Parade and the middle terrace off Pinedale Crescent, being Rochdale Road, Otaraia Road, Bull Lane, Tama Road, Pukeko Place and Knoyle Road.

This includes all public places, public parks and accessways into the defined area where the prohibition will be extended to.

Areas – Castlepoint

  • From the Castlepoint motorcamp to the Castlepoint lagoon, including Jetty Road and Castlepoint Beach to the water’s edge.
  • From in front of the motorcamp to the Castlepoint Lagoon, including Castlepoint Reserve
  • Also including Guthrie and Balfour Crescents and all public roads and places to which the public have access within the township of Castlepoint.

During the period of prohibition it will be an offence to be in possession of or consume any alcohol.


A $250 infringement notice can be served by a constable, or a person who is convicted of an offence against a bylaw is liable to a fine not exceeding $20,000.

Powers of arrest, search, and seizure – Section 169

(2) A constable may, without warrant,—

(a) for the purpose of ascertaining whether alcohol is present, search—

(i) a container (for example, a bag, case, package, or parcel) in the possession of a person who is in, or entering, a restricted place; or
(ii) a vehicle that is in, or is entering, a restricted place:

(b) seize and remove any alcohol (and its container) that is in a restricted place in breach of an alcohol ban:
(c) arrest any person whom the constable finds committing an offence:
(d) arrest any person who has refused to comply with a request by a constable—

(i) to leave a restricted place; or
(ii) to surrender to a constable any alcohol that, in breach of an alcohol ban is in the person’s possession.

(3) Alcohol or a container seized under subsection (2)(b) is forfeited to the Crown if the person from whom the alcohol or container is seized pays the infringement fee.

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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