After Ball Parties and the Law by

Information for Parents/Caregivers

After Ball Parties and the Law

The following information has been forwarded to all Secondary School Principals from Senior Sergeant, G J Spite of the Alcohol Harm Reduction Unit, Canterbury District of the NZ Police.  He has asked that we pass on this information to all our parents and caregivers and any pupils who may be considering getting involved with this activity:

'In June last year I wrote to all the Secondary School Principals in Canterbury in relation to "After Ball" parties.

A decision from the Courts only a few months ago now gives a much clearer indication as to what constitutes the offence of "Use of Unlicensed Premises as a Place of Resort for the Consumption of Alcohol".  The maximum fine is $20,000.

  • People who organise, manage, sell tickets, charge an entry fee, provide security etc are breaking the law unless they obtain a special licence to sell and supply alcohol (1).
  • It is not possible however to get a Special Licence for BYO alcohol (2).
  • People attending such events are generally also committing an offence (3).

The police position is clear - organised after ball parties involving the consumption of alcohol and a charge of any sort are illegal irrespective of the age of the attendees.

  • Minors must have express consent of parents/legal guardians to consume alcohol.  Notes with "To whom it may concern" do not meet those requirements (4).


(1) Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, s235

(2) Oddballs Adventure Tours Co Ltd v Ferguson, HC Christchurch CIV-2008-409-2032

(3) Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, s236

(4) Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, s241