Local Alcohol Policies in New Zealand: An overview of their implementation and effects on crime


  • Lauren Tyler-Harwood University of Canterbury
  • Andrea Kutinova Menclova University of Canterbury




local alcohol policies, crime


We document the implementation of local alcohol policies in New Zealand and then study their impacts on crime. A key contribution of our study is that we construct a detailed data set on local alcohol policies applicable across territorial authorities between July 2014 and January 2019. To our knowledge, we are the first ones to provide such a comprehensive overview. In a subsequent analysis, we find that local alcohol policies as recently implemented in New Zealand do not appear to have reduced crime. This result holds for specific policy dimensions and their stringency (e.g., closing times and geographic restrictions on issuing new licences), and is reasonably robust across crime types, days/times of occurrence, and socioeconomic subgroups. Our failure to identify significant reductions in crime following the imposition of local alcohol policies may partly reflect the policies being non-binding in some cases: for example, licensed premises had sometimes already operated within the restricted trading hours specified by a local alcohol policy.


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Author Biographies

Lauren Tyler-Harwood, University of Canterbury

Lauren Tyler-Harwood is a researcher in the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Canterbury.

Andrea Kutinova Menclova, University of Canterbury

Andrea Kutinova Menclova is an associate professor in the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Canterbury and is the corresponding author.