The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority has voted to uphold the decision of the Auckland Council to place a two-year freeze on new liquor outlets in the city centre, as well as 23 other ‘priority’ regions around Auckland.

Following appeals from groups including the NZ Police, Foodstuffs North Island, Progressive Enterprises and Hospitality NZ, ARLA ruled that the restrictions put in place were not unreasonable and would be allowed to remain. ARLA also ruled that the decision under the current Proposed Local Alcohol Policy (PLAP) to allow CBD bars to remain open until 4am was also reasonable, a victory for local establishments.

Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore said that the PLAP, should it be enforced, will last for two years, after which time restrictions will grow tighter. "The onus will be on the applicant to prove there is an actual need for their on-licence or off-licence to exist," he said.

Despite the ruling none of the policies are currently in force, as there are still several decision steps to be made in regards to other elements of the PLAP, such as opening hours near educational facilities.