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Liquor store staff sell to minor

Published: 11 June 2019

“Shocking,” is how Auckland Council’s Alcohol Licensing’s team leader is describing the results of a recent controlled purchase operation in the city.

Nine off-license premises were visited two weeks ago, in a joint operation between Auckland Council's Alcohol Licensing Unit, Auckland Police and the Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

Controlled purchase operations are conducted to test compliance with laws against selling alcohol to minors.

Of the three who failed to comply with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, two never asked for identification.

“It’s shocking,” Auckland Council’s Licensing Central team leader Francis Maiava said.

“One licensed premise did ask identification, but the staff member miscalculated the age and sold her an alcoholic beverage. Two liquor outlets never asked for her ID.”

Mr Maiava said it was the first central controlled purchase operation to be held this year and the result was “very disappointing”.

“Businesses need to have robust systems in place. They know the regulations and their responsibilities – under the law.”

He said these operations could take place anytime.

“No one is exempt from controlled purchase operations.”

Two of the liquor stores were situated in Glen Innes and the third in Newmarket.

Auckland Council will now refer the matter to the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority (ARLA). Penalties could include a temporary closure or prosecution via the ARLA.