Both supermarket chains Progressive Enterprises and Foodstuffs are trying to block two Northland councils, Whangarei and Far North, from restricting their liquor selling hours. Appeals have been lodged with the Alcohol Regulatory Licencing Authority, arguing for a liberal approach to alcohol sales in supermarkets. Hearings are expected to be heard in late 2016.

Even though default selling hours were 7am to 11pm for off-licences, Far North District Council has restricted them to 9am-10pm and Whangarei to an even stricter 9am-9pm. The move was decided in consultation with the community, in accordance with the 2012 Sales and Supply of Liquor Act.
“We will work constructively with all parties, including the council, during the appeal process,” a spokesman for Progressive Enterprises said.

Throughout New Zealand, 29 councils are defending similar appeals.