The Trusts

New Zealand alcohol retailer
The Trusts
IndustryRetail, hospitality
New Zealand
Area served
New Zealand
ProductsLiquor stores

The Trusts are a group of two community-owned organisations (licensing trusts) with a near monopoly on the sale of alcohol in West Auckland.[1] They are one of the largest alcohol retailers in New Zealand.

The Portage Licensing Trust covers the areas bordered by New Lynn, Waikumete Cemetery, Glen Eden and Titirangi. The Waitākere Licensing Trust covers the communities around Glendene, Piha, Henderson, Te Atatū South, Te Atatū Peninsula and Whenuapai.[1]

The Trusts operate all hotels, taverns and off-licenses in their districts. They operate 26 liquor stores, predominantly under either the LiquorLand or Super Liquor franchise.[2][3][4]

The only other businesses permitted to sell alcohol are liquor stores that operated in the area before 1972, or businesses that make alcohol such as wineries and breweries.[1]

Trustees are elected through local body elections, and surplus profits are returned to the community through grants, rebates, sponsorships and community initiatives. The monopoly of The Trusts can only be removed if a privately organised petition signed by at least 15% of all eligible voters forces a referendum, and at least 50% of all eligible voters on polling day.[1]


The Trusts were established in 1972 as a community-led initiative to control the sale of alcohol.[1][5]

The Trusts Stadium, one of The Trust's most significant investments. opened in September 2004. It cost $28 million to complete but opened debt-free, with The Trusts providing $5 million.[6] The stadium attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year, hosting a range of events, including concerts, sporting events and community gatherings.[7]

Between July 2010 and June 2013, The Trusts invested $30.7 million from its gaming machines into local causes.[8]

By 2013, The Trusts were generating $100 million a year in sales and employing 400 people.[8]

In 2021, The Trusts reached an agreement with Foodstuffs to operate a new LiquorLand franchise and convert some of its existing West Liquor stores to LiquorLand franchisees.[3][9]

In October 2021, an action group opposed to The Trusts said it almost had enough signatures to force a vote in the Waitākere Licensing Trust area.[9] The group claimed The Trusts' monopoly was stopping bars and restaurants from establishing on the Te Atatū Peninsula.[5]

The Trusts was the first New Zealand business to boycott Russian products in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[10] On 1 March 2022, it removed all Russian vodkas and beers from shelves, putting Ukrainian flags in their space.[11] Foodstuffs introduced a similar policy in all other LiquorLand stores three days later.[12]

Following a trial of four stores over 2021–2022, The Trusts announced in May 2023 that all its liquor stores would rebrand as either LiquorLand or Super Liquor and change to a franchise model.[13]


The most recent election for trustees took place in 2022, wherein the following trustees were returned:[14]

Portage Licensing Trust (2022-2025)

Member(s) Ward Affiliation (if any)
Marcus Amosa Auckland City City Vision
Margi Watson Auckland City City Vision
Mark Beavis Auckland City City Vision
Leanna Taylor New Lynn Labour
Rob Hulse New Lynn Independent
Joe Bergin Glen Eden Trusts Action Group
Jacqui Harema Glen Eden Independent
Ben Goodale Titirangi/Green Bay Trusts Action Group
Ross Clow Titirangi/Green Bay Independent
Darren Leckey Kelston West Independent

Waitākere Licensing Trust (2022-2025)

Member(s) Ward Affiliation (if any)
Amanda Roberts Te Atatū Trusts Action Group
Brooke Loader Te Atatū Labour
Linda Cooper Lincoln Independent
Warren William Flaunty Lincoln Independent
Jared Patterson Lincoln Trusts Action Group
Mark Allen Waitākere Future West
Sunil Kaushal Henderson Independent


  1. ^ a b c d e "Licensing trusts in west Auckland". Auckland Council.
  2. ^ "Keeping it Local". The Trusts.
  3. ^ a b Keall, Chris (8 July 2021). "West Auckland booze war: The Trusts ink partnership with Liquorland – a new dawn?". The New Zealand Herald.
  4. ^ The Trusts (n.d.). "One of NZ's Largest Liquor Retailers to Replace All Stores with New Brands" (Press release).
  5. ^ a b Tokalau, Torika (20 September 2020). "Caught in the middle of an alcohol monopoly, some residents say Auckland beachside community in dire need for change". Stuff News.
  6. ^ "WCAC History". Waitakere City Athletic Club.
  7. ^ "The Trusts Arena: Auckland, New Zealand". The Trusts Stadium. Archived from the original on 15 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Community message at the heart of trusts' pitch". The New Zealand Herald. 8 October 2013.
  9. ^ a b Keall, Chris (8 October 2021). "West Auckland liquor fight: enough signatures gained to trigger referendum on Trust's monopoly". The New Zealand Herald.
  10. ^ Clark-Dow, Emma (1 March 2022). "Auckland liquor stores pull Russian alcohol from shelves in support of Ukraine". Stuff News.
  11. ^ "West Auckland Trusts to remove Russian vodka and beer from shelves". The New Zealand Herald. 1 March 2022.
  12. ^ Harding, Evan (4 March 2022). "Liquorland refusing to buy Russian vodka following Ukraine invasion". Stuff News.
  13. ^ Enerva, Kaycee (2023-03-07). "West Auckland's The Trusts to rebrand as Liquorland". Inside Retail. Retrieved 2023-08-26.
  14. ^ "Licensing trustee official results". Auckland Council. Retrieved 17 October 2022.

External links

  • Official website
  • v
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Supermarkets and grocery
Hardware, building and gardenFuelPharmaceuticalDepartment storesElectricalClothing, footwear and accessoriesMotor vehicles and partsRecreational goodsFurniture, floor, houseware and textileLiquorSpecialised foodHospitality
Defunct retailers in italics