If you own, operate or manage a business or venue where alcohol will be sold or supplied, you need to be familiar with the laws and regulations that apply.
Make sure you have the correct licence and a host responsibility programme in place to care for your patrons. Read the Local Alcohol Policy
Which licence do you require?
If you want to sell or supply alcohol, you must apply for the appropriate licence. Each licence has its own application form, non-refundable fees and requirements for specific additional documentation.
Applications for special licences and new alcohol licences required for the Christmas/New Year period, must be lodged by mid November with all appropriate documentation in order to be processed.
Note: If your event is around Christmas/New Year period (20 December - 5 February), you need to lodge your application by mid November.
A Special Licence is required if you host an event or celebration where alcohol is being sold or if you sell tickets to a function where alcohol is supplied.
A Special Licence allows the holder to sell and supply alcohol, on the premises or conveyance named on the licence, to any person attending as approved by the licence for the duration of the occasion or event. Occasions with alcohol such as a:
- sporting event
- quiz night
- wine tasting
- bus trip where alcohol is consumed
- party where alcohol is being sold
- public party where alcohol is being sold or supplied
- party on leased premises where alcohol is being sold or supplied
- event where tickets are sold and alcohol is supplied.
You need to submit your completed application at least 20 working days before the event.
Note: If your event is around Christmas/New Year period (20 December - 5 February), you need to lodge your completed application by mid November.
Fill in the Special Licence application form. You will also need to fill in the 'Supplement Form' if your event is a series of events on one application. Note that if you're applying for a series of events on the one application, the events need to be related. The 'Public Notice' form should be filled in for Class 1 events.
The fee depends on the size of your event, there are 3 classes of Special Licence.
Class 1 - one large event, more than 3 medium events, or more than 12 small events
Class 2 - 3-12 small events or more than 1-3 medium events
Class 3 - 1 or 2 small events
An event that Council believes on reasonable ground will have patronage of :
Small size event - of less than 100 attendees
Medium size event - will have between 100 and 400 attendees
Large size event - will have more than 400 attendees
Apply on the Special Licence form
Special licence application forms
Allows you to sell or supply alcohol for consumption on a building premise or conveyance:
- night club
- restaurant or café
- conveyances such as bus, boat or ship, aircraft, train, vehicle
- endorsed premises - BYO
On-Licence application forms
Allows you to sell on the premises and supply or deliver alcohol for consumption off the premises. An Off-Licence may be issued for a:
- stand alone bottleshop or store
- supermarket or grocery store
Off-Licence application forms
Allows clubs to sell, supply and serve alcohol for consumption, on club premises to club members, their guests and members of clubs with reciprocal visiting rights. Club - sport, social or corporate.
Club licence application forms
This authorises you to manage any licenced premises that has an off-licence or on-licence such as a bar, hotel, tavern, club, supermarket etc. A certified manager must be on duty at all times when liquor is being sold or supplied to the public. Some Special Licences, clubs and endorsed licences may have an exception to this rule as stated on their licence.
Clubs must appoint at least one manager who holds a manager's certificate.
If the certified manager is ill, absent, dismissed or has resigned, a licensee can appoint a temporary or acting manager that is adequately trained. You must notify Council and the Police if this appointment of an acting manager will last more than 48 hours.
To apply you need to:
- be 20 years or older
- hold current employment in a licenced premises
- have six months experience in a licenced premises in New Zealand
Apply on the Manager’s Certificate form and provide all the supporting information. Once lodged, your application is sent to the Police who must enquire into the application and they may file an objection to the application.
Council’s licensing inspectors must enquire into the application, conduct an interview with the applicant, then prepare a report for the District Licensing Committee. The District Licensing Committee decide if your application will be issued and under what conditions. If there is an objection to your application, the committee’s decision will be made following a hearing. Unopposed applications are usually considered ‘on the papers’ and without a hearing.
Managers must obtain a Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ) issued on or after 18 December 2013.
Certificates required for Christmas/New Year must be lodged before mid November.
Manager's certificate application forms
Notice of management change
To tell us of any changes to staff including new manager appointments, temporary and acting manager appointments and departing managers. You need to fill in the form within 2 working days of the appointment or termination.
Notify us on the form
Alcohol premises compliance certificate
You fill in this form before a licence application is made:
- especially if the premise has never held an alcohol licence
- or you're applying for a variation to an existing licence after building renovations.
This certificate informs the licence applicant of any Council requirements or consents that are relevant to obtaining a licence.