What are licensing trusts?
Licensing trusts are publicly owned businesses, with privileges under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.
Only licensing trusts can be granted certain alcohol licences in the areas where they operate.
There are two licensing trusts in west Auckland:
In these areas, only the trusts may operate hotels, taverns and off-licences.
An exception to this is:
- a place where any kind of alcohol is made, such as a winery or brewery
- a bottle store that existed before the licensing trust model was adopted (pre-1972).
Wineries and breweries can apply for an off-licence.
Why do licensing trusts exist?
The west Auckland trusts were established in the 1970s, as a community initiative to control the sale of alcohol in west Auckland.
Members (Trustees) are elected by the community to govern the trusts.
The trusts return surplus profits to the community through grants, rebates to clubs, sponsorships and other support for community activities.
For further information, including licensing trust boundaries, refer to the
licensing trust website.
Challenging the licensing trusts
Under Section 349 of the Sale and Supply of Liquor Act 2012, it is possible to remove the monopoly rights given to the trusts.
A petition signed by at least 15 per cent of electors who live in the trust district would be needed in order to force a poll. This would need to be a private initiative, without involvement of the council.
On polling day, if 50 per cent or more electors vote to change the status quo, then the monopoly provisions given to the trusts would be removed. If less than 50 per cent of electors vote for a change, then the status quo remains.
For further information, we recommend that you speak to your lawyer.