Story: Liquor laws

First liquor licence, 1840

This is the first liquor licence issued in New Zealand. It was issued by the Colonial Treasury to John Johnson of the Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Kororāreka (later called Russell) on 30 October 1840. At the time New Zealand was annexed to the British colony of New South Wales and British sovereignty had been formally asserted over New Zealand. This meant that laws in force in New South Wales, including liquor laws, were extended to New Zealand. The Ordinance for Regulating the Sale of Fermented and Spirituous Liquors 1842 created the first New Zealand liquor-licensing system.

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Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: NZMS 346

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Paul Christoffel, 'Liquor laws - Early liquor laws', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 June 2024)

Story by Paul Christoffel, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Dec 2014