Alcohol Licences


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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.

Club licence

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.

Temporary authority

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.

How to get a licence

  1. 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 Licens​ing Inspector to make an appointment.
  2. Apply for certificates of compliance with the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Building Act 2004.​
  1. ​​Lodge your licence with the DLC.

  2. 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.

  3. Place a notice on the building/s for the period the newspaper advertisements run.

  4. 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.

  5. Meanwhile, the DLC will refer your application to the reporting agencies (licensing inspector, police and Toi Te Ora Public Health) for comment.

  6. 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 will now be 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)



Low (3-5)



Medium (6-15)



High (16-25)



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.

Type of licensed premises


Latest licensed hours


Supermarket, grocery store, bottle store


On-licences and clubs before 2:00 am; Off-licences before 10.00 pm


Class 1 restaurant, night club, tavern, adult premises


On-licences and clubs 2:01am-3:00 am; Off-licences 10:00 pm and later


Off-licence in a hotel, tavern, class 1, 2 or 3 club


On-licences and clubs – any time after 3:00 am


Class 2 restaurant, class1 club, hotel, function centre


Number of enforcements in last 18 months


Remote sale premises, class 3 restaurant, class 2 club, other on and off premises not otherwise specified




Winery cellar doors, BYO restaurants, class 3 clubs, theatres, cinemas






2 or more


How to make an objection to an alcohol licence application

Page reviewed: 01 Jul 2020 11:39am