Online alcohol shops halt deliveries after getting 'swamped' with orders from Kiwis in lockdown

Alcohol stores across New Zealand are having to stop their delivery services because the demand from Kiwi customers in lockdown is too high at the moment.

A file image of a shot of alcohol. Source: File Image

Both Glengarry and Whisky and More have advised customers hoping to stock up their liquor shelves that they won't be taking on new orders for a while due to the high demand from New Zealanders.

"We are currently taking a pause on new orders, whilst we catch up," Glengarry said in a post on their website.

"Because of the current restrictions we are operating with a much-reduced workforce, and over the last few days we have been swamped with orders, running us low on certain items."

Alcohol is available to be purchased in supermarkets, as well as at liquor stores in the four areas where Licensing Trust stores hold a monopoly - Invercargill, Waitakere (West Auckland), Portage (West Auckland), and Mataura (Gore).

All other liquor stores must be closed to the public, meaning a strain has been put on other sellers who are able to do business online.

Glengarry said they hope to be back in the market this Tuesday - the same day Whisky and More plans to bring back their own website after having order issues of their own.

"I'm so sorry guys to anyone who missed out but we've hit capacity again so have to put the website ordering on hold we'll we clear the back orders," the company said on their site.

"We're estimating we'll be able to take orders again on 7th April. Any orders already placed will get sent out."

Healthwatch group wants online sales scrapped altogether

A healthwatch group is hoping the Government will stop allowing the sale of alcohol online altogether for the remainder of the lockdown, believing nothing good is coming from it.

Alcohol Healthwatch says that all possible steps need to be taken to reduce pressures on our health system to address the coronavirus pandemic and removing online alcohol sales from the list of essential businesses is one way to do that.

“There is a direct link between the level of alcohol use in our country and the level of accidental and self-inflicted injuries and other alcohol-related conditions that require medical or police assistance," said Dr Nicki Jackson, director of Alcohol Healthwatch.

"We need to take active steps to reduce the availability of alcohol at this time, particularly to protect our mental health. It will pay dividends by increasing health equity.”

Dr Jackson says some online alcohol retailers are now waiving their usual delivery fees and requiring minimum purchases of large, harmful bulk quantities of alcohol.

"Now is a crucial time to prioritise the mental health of New Zealanders and reduce stress on our frontline police, health and social services.

"Online access to New Zealand’s most harmful drug is non-essential, and comes with strong potential to cause health harm, particularly to children."