Need a liquor licence this summer? Time is running out
If you are organising an event that needs a special licence to sell or supply alcohol this summer, you need to submit applications this week.
An application for a licence must be in at least 20 working days before the event. Under the rules of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, “working day” doesn’t include weekends, statutory holidays and or any days between 20 December and 15 January (inclusive).
Because of the rules about what counts as a ‘working day’ in the legislation, it is already very close to the deadline for events in January - applications need to be lodged by 21 November if the event is in January. February events need to have their applications lodged by 7 December. You can access the Special Licence Application Pack PDF under the Licence Application Forms section below.
To ensure that the sale and supply of alcohol takes place responsibly, it is a legal requirement under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 that you have a licence before you can sell or supply alcohol.
Who can hold a licence?
Licence holders must be aged 20 years or over, and meet the other requirements of the Act. A licence is issued to a person, company or legal entity in relation to a premise (or conveyance, such as a train or boat). A licence cannot be transferred from one person to another, or from one premise or conveyance to another.
At all times when alcohol is being sold or supplied to the public on licensed premises, a certified manager is required to be on duty and is responsible for compliance with the Act and the conditions of the licence.
What licence should I apply for?
The type of licence you apply for depends on what activities or type of business you are planning. There are four types of licences.
An on-licence authorises the holder to sell or supply alcohol for consumption on their premises, but alcohol cannot be removed from the site.
An off-licence authorises the holder to sell or deliver alcohol on or from their premises, described in the licence to any person for consumption off their premises.
A club licence authorises the holder to sell or supply alcohol for consumption on their premises to any member of the club (e.g. incorporated clubs such as sports clubs and social clubs), or any person who is a guest of, and is accompanied by a member of the club, or any member of any other club with which the holder of the licence has an arrangement for reciprocal visiting rights for members for the club. Alcohol cannot be removed from the site.
If you have purchased a licensed business a temporary authority is required to operate the business until your own licence has been approved.
If you are hosting an event like a wedding, fundraiser, or birthday where a license is required for a short time you need a special licence.
Licence Application Forms
On Licence and Renewal application pack (PDF, 139.7KB)
Off Licence and Renewal Application Pack (PDF, 138.6KB)
Club Licence and Renewal Application Pack (PDF, 135KB)
Temporary Authority Application (PDF, 47.9KB)
Special Licence Application Pack (PDF, 144.9KB)
Application for Waiver (PDF, 23.3KB)
Form 14 Application for Variation or Cancellation of Conditions (PDF, 69.4KB)
Public Notice of Special Licence Application (PDF, 44.8KB)
Public Notices Guidelines (PDF, 54.7KB)
Fire Evacuation Statement (PDF, 45.7KB)
How to get a licence
- Meet with the District Licensing Committee (DLC), which is administered by Opotiki District Council, and explain your plans and discuss any issues prior to making your application for a alcohol licence. Contact the Licensing Inspector to make an appointment.
- Apply for certificates of compliance with the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Building Act 2004.
Planning Certificate for Application Form (PDF, 48.9KB)
- Lodge your licence with the DLC.
- Publicly notify your application by placing two advertisements, a week apart, in the public notices section of a local newspaper with significant distribution in the area (e.g. Opotiki News) within 20 working days of lodging the application.
- Place a notice on the building/s for the period the newspaper advertisements run.
- Submit evidence of public notification to the DLC by supplying the whole page, including the date and name of the paper, containing the two newspaper advertisements and a signed declaration that the notice of buildings was visible on the front of the building.
- Meanwhile, the DLC will refer your application to the reporting agencies (licensing inspector, police and Toi Te Ora Public Health) for comment.
- If the application is complete, following public notification and the objection period, and when the reports from the reporting agencies have been received, it will be considered for approval by the DLC. If there are any objections lodged by the public, or if any of the reporting agencies raise matters in opposition, the application will be referred for a public hearing by the DLC for determination.
Note: Most special licences do not need to be publicly notified.
How long does it take to obtain an alcohol licence?
On, off and club licence applications are generally processed within 6 weeks of receiving the application. Special licences take at least 20 working days to process. These processing times will be delayed if there is information outstanding from your application, or if there are any objections to your application from the public or reporting agencies.
You are required to pay an annual and a renewal alcohol licence fee. The annual fees are payable on the anniversary date of your licence every year. A new licence is granted for one year initially and then after that the licence is renewed every three years. Note: new premises may have other consent costs.
Cost/risk category (based on weighting)
Renewal fee (licensee every three years) OR initial application fee (payable by first time applicant)
Annual fee (payable by licensee)
Very Low (0-2)
Very High (26 plus)
Cost/risk framework used to work out fees
All licensed premises (on, off, club) will be assessed under a cost/risk category. This is based on weighting the type of licence plus the hours plus any enforcement action. Note: restaurants and clubs are subdivided into three classes to reflect their cost/risk.
View the Fees Risk Matrix (PDF, 466KB)
On Off and Club Licences SSAA Fees and Charges (PDF, 23.5KB)
Special Licences and Managers SSAA Fees and Charges (PDF, 13.4KB)
How to make an objection to an alcohol licence application
Objecting to a Liquor Licence - Guidelines (PDF, 102.8KB)