New Zealand's Beer, Wine and Spirits Council looks set to close down at the end of the month after Lion Nathan decided to pull out of it.

According to a report in the New Zealand Herald today (1 December), DB and Lion would continue to co-operate generally on non-commercial issues. But the groups will have to look at replacing the council's functions internally.

The Council acted for the two big brewers on "non-commercial" issues, such as alcohol policy and responsible drinking, the paper noted.

Speaking to the Herald, Lion Nathan corporate affairs director Liz Read said the brewer felt it was better to leave the council and work directly with a wider range of players in the alcohol market, including retailers, so as to take a more collective approach to non- commercial issues. Relations with DB were still "good" despite the decision, Read said.