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Types of alcohol licence

Ngaa momo Raihana Waipiro

If you wish to apply for a special licence for an event over the Christmas - New Year period please note all special licences require 20 working days for processing (excluding the day of filing of the application and the day of the event). Special licences for events over the holiday period cannot be processed after 16 November unless exceptional circumstances apply where the event could not have been predicted earlier, eg funerals.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 has a close down period for processing of licence applications from 20 December to 15 January. We regret applications received late may not be able to be issued for events over the Christmas period.

To sell or supply alcohol, either as a business, club or at a special event, you must apply for the appropriate alcohol licence. 

There are four types of licence:

  • On-licence – for sale and consumption of alcohol on the premises, eg hotels, taverns, night clubs, restaurants
  • Off-licence – for sale for consumption off the premises, eg bottle shops, supermarkets, grocery stores
  • Club licence – for sale and consumption of alcohol on club premises to members of the club, their guests and members of affiliated clubs
  • Special licence – for sale at specific occasions or events

A licence is issued to a named person, company or legal entity in relation to a premises or conveyance. Conveyances are vehicles such as aircraft, vessels, trains etc.  A licence cannot be transferred from one person to another, or from one premises or conveyance to another.

Contact us if you plan on selling or supplying alcohol to the public, as you will need to consider planning and building issues and any other rules specific to your area. You will also need to talk to us about any requirements for kitchen, bar and toilet facilities.

Getting your alcohol licence

When alcohol is being sold there is a requirement that a manager is appointed to manage the conduct of the sale of alcohol. Managers must hold a manager’s certificate issued by a District Licensing Committee.

If you wish to apply for a license, download the appropriate application form and post it into us. If you want to see pending alcohol licensing decisions, visit the Alcohol Licensing Applications page. For a list of alcohol licensing decisions made by the District Licensing Committee, visit the Alcohol Licensing Decisions page.

Licenses and manager's certificates are issued for an initial period of 12 months and then renewed for three years. While there is no obligation to do so, we will send out renewal application forms approximately two months before the licence or certificate is due to expire. However it is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that an application for renewal is made before the licence is due to expire. We cannot accept applications for renewal after the licence has expired.

When businesses are sold, the new owner must apply for a temporary authority to allow them to continue trading under the terms of the existing licence while they apply for their own licence.

Alcohol Control Bylaw