If you are planning to sell alcohol at a premises, online, or at an event or series of events you must have a licence.
Changes to Alcohol Licensing
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 replaces the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. The new Act affects the way that alcohol is sold, supplied and consumed across New Zealand.
Under the new Act, anyone who wants to sell or supply alcohol must have a current alcohol licence. The process for obtaining a licence has changed significantly for a number of applications.
Types of Licence
There are four types of alcohol licence:
- On Licence (e.g. pub, restaurant, cafe, bar)
- Off Licence (e.g. bottle store, supermarket)
- Club Licence (e.g. sports club, Returned Services Association)
- Special Licence (e.g. events and functions)
An On Licence, Off Licence, or Club Licence is granted initially for one year and then can be renewed every three years.
Special licences are granted per event or for a series of events.
If you are taking over existing licensed premises that already has a licence you will need to apply for a Temporary Authority to cover you while you're waiting for your new licence to be issued.
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.
Applying for a Licence and Licence Fees
A separate application must be submitted for each type of licence, along with a non-refundable fee and requirements for specific additional documentation. On, off, and club licences are also subject to an annual fee on their anniversary. You can find application forms on each page for the licence type you are applying for (select from the left) or below. Details of licence fees can be found on the licence fees page.
At all times that alcohol is available for sale to the public in an on or off licensed premises and in some clubs, 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.
Temporary or Acting Manager
In any case where a manager is ill, absent, dismissed or resigns, or for any reason, a licensee can appoint a Temporary or Acting Manager. The person appointed is not required to hold a Manager’s Certificate but they must be adequately trained.
You can download alcohol licencing forms from our Licence Fees and Forms section.
Income and Costs for 2016/17
The income from fees associated with alcohol licensing and enforcement totalled $212,930. The costs for this function totalled $195,153
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