Once your application is accepted by the Alcohol Licensing Team there are a number of steps to processing your application for an alcohol licence.

Public Notices

Within 10 working days of lodging your application you must place notice of your application in a conspicuous place on or adjacent to your premises.

Within 20 working days of lodging your application you are required to give public notice of the application. We will tell you how to publicly notify your application.

Objections to the licence must be filed with the Alcohol Licensing Team within 15 working days of the first public notice.

We will provide you with the information to be included in these notices.

Please note: the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 defines a working day as a day that is not:

  • A Saturday, a Sunday, Waitangi Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, the Sovereign's Birthday, or Labour Day; or
  • A day in the period commencing on 20th December in one year and ending with 15th January in the next year.

Assessing your application

The Police, Medical Officer of Health and Inspector will look into your application and provide a report.  This will include an inspection of your premises.

They will take into account:

  • The Object of the Act (when issuing or renewing a license we need to consider that the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol is done safely and responsibly by the licensee therefore minimising harm caused by inappropriate or excessive consumption of alcohol)
  • The suitability of the applicant
  • The days on which and the hours during which alcohol will be sold
  • Steps proposed to be taken by the applicant to ensure that the requirements of the law in relation to the sale of alcohol to prohibited persons are observed such as not serving alcohol to minors and intoxicated people
  • Whether the applicant is engaged, or proposes to engage, in the sale or supply of any other goods besides alcohol or the provision of any services other than those directly related to the sale of supply of alcohol, and, if so, the nature of those goods or services
  • Local Alcohol Policy (if a Council LAP is in place)
  • Amenity and good order (refers to the locality of the licensed premise and considers the purpose which the premise will be used for, noise levels, any issues of nuisance and vandalism.)
  • The design and lay out of the premises
  • Appropriate staff, systems and training to comply with the law.

The District Licensing Committee will decide whether to issue the licence and what conditions it should contain.

If there are objections from any of the agencies or valid public objections the application will be heard at a public hearing by the District Licensing Committee. For further information on the role of District Licensing Committees(external link) and the Alcohol Licensing Regulatory Authority (external link)(ARLA) please also see the Health Promotion Agency web information. 


Applying before your premises are finished

You can apply for your alcohol  licence before your premises are finished. The Council’s Alcohol Licensing Team can start processing your application, but no licence will be issued until you provide whatever clearances are necessary with regard to building work. You will still require a Certificate of Compliance (under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012), which includes consent from the landlord if required, before you can apply.

A Council Environmental Health Officer may ask you to arrange a final inspection once the kitchen is complete. You may also be required to have a final inspection done by an Environmental Health Inspector for Crown Public Health.