An Off Licence authorises the holder of the licence to sell or deliver alcohol on or from the premises described in the licence for consumption off the premises.
Under the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 there are new criteria that your business must meet to be issued a new or renewed licence. These include the suitability of the applicant, the hours proposed, the design and layout of the premises, and whether the amenity and good order of the locality will be affected by the business. The Off Licence Application Form details the information that needs to be provided as part of the application.
There must be a person with a current Manager's Certificate on duty at all times when alcohol is being sold or supplied to the public. You can only obtain an off licence for premises - no conveyance (e.g. boat, caravan) may obtain an off licence.
Certificate of Compliance
Every new application for an Off Licence must have a certificate from the Council to show that the proposed use of the premises meets the requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991 and of the building code.
The Certificate of Compliance must be obtained before you lodge your Off Licence application. Once all the correct information is provided it generally takes 15 working days to process and there is a fee.
Certificate of Compliance Application Form
Types of Premises That Can Hold an Off Licence
The Act specifies which types of premises can have an Off Licence. Premises that cannot have an Off Licence include petrol stations, garages, conveyances (for example boats or caravans), dairies and convenience stores.
Grocery stores that mainly sell food products may have an Off Licence.
Promotion and Display of Alcohol
There are new rules on the advertising and promotion of alcohol outside the premises which mean you cannot advertise free alcohol, promote discounts of more than 25% or offer prizes if customers buy alcohol. There are also new rules requiring that displays of alcohol can only be in a single area of the store.
Read more information on changes for the alcohol industry on the Ministry of Justice Website
A licence is normally renewed for three years.
You must apply to renew a licence at least 20 working days* before the date on which the current licence expires. If you apply to renew a licence less than 20 working days before the expiry date the application may be refused by the District Licensing Committee. If you apply after the expiry date of the current licence it will be treated as a new licence application and can only be granted for one year.
*Working days do not include weekends, public holidays or the period 20 December to 15 January inclusive.
If you are seeking a licence for a premises that has previously been licensed and that licence is still current then you may be able to obtain a Temporary Authority. The Temporary Authority enables the premises to lawfully operate while you obtain a licence, and to sell and supply liquor under the same terms and conditions as the current licence.
At all times that alcohol is being sold or supplied to the public through an Off Licence, there must be a duty manager who holds a Manager's Certificate present. It is the duty manager's responsibility to ensure that the regulations of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 are being upheld. Details of current or proposed manager/s that hold a Manager’s Certificate must be supplied with your application.
The Council now places public notices for licence applications on the Council website. these can be viewed here.
Once your application has been accepted, you must attach a notice to the outside of the premises within 10 working days after filing the application, in a conspicuous place on or adjacent to the site to which the application relates. the notice must remain on display for at least 10 days.
Public notice template (display at premises) (37KB PDF)
Fees are calculated according to a new premises cost/risk rating that is determined by a combination of factors.
More information on Licence Fees.
Information about the new Act on the Ministry of Justice website
Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012
Alcohol Ban Areas
03 546 0200