Latest Controlled Purchase Operations brings varied results | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Latest Controlled Purchase Operations brings varied results

Two recent Controlled Purchase Operations conducted at licensed premises throughout Northland by Northland DHB and NZ Police staff concluded in a varied result.

The operations saw underage volunteers, aged 16 and 17 years, attempt to purchase alcohol from licensed premises in the Bay of Islands and Whangarei regions. 

A pleasing result from the Far North operation with NO sales from the 14 outlets tested, however ONE sale resulted from the 19 outlets tested in the Whangarei area. This result was particularly disappointing as it is the second time this premises has sold alcohol to a minor.

Sergeant Tai PATRICK, Alcohol Harm Prevention Officer, Whangarei Police said, “It is especially worrying when a premises is caught selling alcohol to underage for a second time. From the last couple of operations, it is clear the seller either is not asking for identification at all, or checking it properly when it is produced. In either case, it is not good enough when off licensees are still selling to young people.

"The consequences when reported to the authorities are major and can result in a suspension of their license to sell alcohol for a number of days. I do not expect that sales of alcohol should be occurring. As a community, we need to have confidence that license holders will not sell alcohol to our youth.”

Senior Constable Russau KALIVATI, Alcohol Harm Prevention Officer, Kerikeri Police said, “This is an excellent result from the 14 premises tested in the Bay of Islands area. This is only the second operation carried out in the Mid and Far North in two and a half years that has resulted in NO SALES. The licensed premises that were tested appear to have good systems in place. However, I would like to emphasise that if identification is unable to be produced by anyone attempting to purchase alcohol who looks under 25 years of age, the sellers should not sell the alcohol to them.

"It is important to stress that a full and proper identification check must be carried out including calculating the age. This is best practice and the only sure way to prevent sales to underage. Overall, I am encouraged by this result. It demonstrates that our off-licensed premises are responsible holders of an alcohol license and therefore protecting the young people in the communities they operate in."

Controlled Purchase Operations (CPOs) are part of an ongoing programme to assess compliance with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 in an effort to address access to alcohol by minors.

For further information, please contact:

Sergeant Tai PATRICK
Alcohol Harm Prevention Officer
Phone 021 192 0428


Senior Constable Russau KALIVATI
Alcohol Harm Prevention Officer
Mid and Far North
Phone 021 191 7770

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