Each council makes their own alcohol control rules that best suit their circumstances. You might therefore find each holiday hotspot applies liquor bans differently.
Using Tauranga as a famous example, parts of Papamoa are liquor-free from 9 pm to 7 am each night, while other popular public areas are liquor-free permanently, such as Mount Maunganui, Mount town and main beach, and Tauranga CBD. From 26 December to 6 January, the ban in these public areas is significantly extended to cover other past problem areas, including Pilot Bay, Marine Parade and its adjacent beach, and Papamoa beach.
Alcohol in an unopened container can typically be transported through a liquor-controlled area to a private residence, although this should be prompt – storing alcohol in a vehicle will not protect you. Recent changes mean a breach of a liquor ban will likely mean an instant $250 fine and your alcohol confiscated.