To encourage a safe and welcoming environment in our public places there are alcohol bans in certain areas of Christchurch. These help to reduce the negative impacts that drinking alcohol has in some public places.

They also provide the Police with an appropriate tool for dealing with the antisocial behaviour caused by drinking alcohol with the overall focus on ensuring our communities are kept safe.

Drinking in public places

You may be able to open a bottle of wine at a picnic, but not in the alcohol ban areas and/or not during the times that may be specified for that alcohol ban area.Some areas only have a limited ban on alcohol.

Outside cafe tables are covered by the alcohol licence for the premises. If the area is a licensed premises under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and is operating within the hours permitted by the licence, drinking at outside tables is allowed.

A list of all current alcohol ban areas is below. If you are uncertain, err on the side of caution.

Current alcohol ban areas

Alcohol ban area The alcohol ban is:
Central City At all times (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Hagley Park and environs 10pm to 7am every day
South Colombo At all times (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
New Brighton Mall and surrounds At all times (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Sumner Esplanade From 7pm each Thursday night until midnight at the end of each Sunday night
Jellie Park At all times
Spencer Park New Year's Eve only - 8.30pm on 31 December to 6am on 1 January each year
Akaroa New Year's Eve only - 5pm on 31 December to 7am on 1 January each year
Riccarton/Ilam At all times (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Merivale Seven nights a week from 6pm to 6am
Papanui Seven nights a week from 6pm to 6am
Okains Bay New Year's Eve only - 5pm on 31 December to 7am on 1 January each year

Alcohol can be carried through the alcohol ban areas provided the container is unopened, when being transported

Central city area

An alcohol ban in the Central City was introduced at the request of the Police.

Within the four avenues of the Central City, it is an offence to drink on the Avon River bank, in Latimer Square or in Cranmer Square at anytime.

The aim of the bylaw is to prevent the undesirable behaviour of a small section of the community who drink in public. This behaviour ranges from violent and criminal activity to vomiting and urinating in public. Without this bylaw there would be a gap in the laws available to prevent this.

For more information and maps of alcohol ban areas please refer to the Alcohol Restrictions in Public Places Bylaw 2009 page on this website.

Responsibilities in an alcohol ban area

(Sections 147 of the Local Government Act 2002)

The Council has banned the drinking of alcohol in a number of streets and parks.
The Police enforce these bans. There are few exceptions and these apply to alcohol containers that remain unopened 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 unopened and the alcohol must be promptly removed from the alcohol ban area.