Members of the public can object to an application for an alcohol licence in some cases. Your objection must be in writing and must be sent to the Council’s Alcohol Licensing Team within 15 working days after the date of the first public notice.

All public notices are published in either the Christchurch Press or the Christchurch Star.

Who can object

You have 'greater interest' if you are likely to be more directly affected by the licence than most other people. For example, if you live in the same street as the proposed premises you could be in a position of greater interest, compared with someone who lives 10km away and has concerns about the effects of alcohol on the community.

What you can object about

Your objections must relate to matters listed in Section 105(external link) of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.  You must make specific reference to these matters in your letter.

The Act defines good order and amenity as 'pleasant and agreeable'. Section 106(external link) can also help us understand what good order and amenity covers.


What to include in your letter

Your letter of objection must include:

  • the name and location of the proposed premises
  • why you have an interest that is greater than the general public
  • your reasons for objecting
  • your name, address and contact details, including email address (Note: email is the preferred mode for communication of hearings notices)
  • your signature.

Template - Sample Objection Letter [DOC, 30 KB]

You can find more detailed information about the 'who' and 'what' and 'how' for Objections on the Health Promotion Agency website (external link)including a useful guide to objections and hearings.


Making a joint objection

Some residents or community groups use petitions to get support against an application. Others use a template objection letter that they give to people to complete and send in.

While these can be an effective way to boost numbers of objectors, they can also result in duplicate or illegible signatures or objections.

Petitions or template objection letters must include:

  • the grounds for objection
  • the name and address of a spokesperson or contact person, including email address (Note: email is the preferred mode for communication of hearings notices)
  • a legible name and address for each objector
  • a signature of each objector.

Template - Sample Petition-style Objection Letter [DOC, 36 KB]


Where to send your letter

Objections can be submitted by post, email, fax or in person:

  • Post: Alcohol Licensing, 77 Hereford Street, PO Box 73049, Christchurch 8154
  • Email: alcohollicensing@ccc.govt.nz
  • fax (03) 941 5033
  • In person: Civic Offices, Ground floor reception, 53 Hereford Street, Christchurch

Who will know about your objection

The Alcohol Licensing Team must send a copy of all objections to the alcohol licence applicant. Applicants are allowed to know the basis of any objections so they can decide whether to change their proposal, continue with their application or prepare a response to the objections.

Some applicants may invite objectors or members of the public to a meeting to discuss the concerns raised. The reporting officers (Licensing Inspector, Police, and Medical Officer of Health officers) will also be provided a copy of all objections.

Objections or objector contact details will not be published or advertised. However, if you wish to appear and be heard at a public hearing then your name and the nature of your objections do become a matter of public record.


What happens to your objection

When we receive your objection we will send you an acknowledgement - provided you supplied a readable name and address (email is the preferred mode of communication if one is provided by you). Your objection will also be sent to the alcohol licence applicant.

We assess your objection to make sure it meets the criteria for consideration:

  • that you have an interest greater than the general public, and
  • that your grounds for objection meet the criteria.

The licence application file will be forwarded to the Christchurch District Licencing Committee (DLC) for a decision, along with all objections received. The application and objections will then be considered at a public hearing.

When a hearing date has been set the Hearings Team will write to all those involved advising the hearing date, time and location.

Note: email is the preferred mode of communication for hearings notices. The notice of hearing must be sent a minimum of 10 working days before the date of the hearing. If your objection is in the form of a petition, they will contact the spokesperson.


District Licensing Committee (DLC) hearings

The DLC is a tribunal. The hearing is a legal process similar to a court hearing with a Chairperson or Commissioner and a panel of appointed members.

Please note: Refer to Christchurch District licensing Committees for further information on the structure of the committees and their recent decisions. 

At the beginning of the hearing, the Committee Advisor will ask all people who wish to have their say to complete an appearance slip. It is not compulsory for objectors to attend or speak at the hearing however the judge may give more weight to an objection if the objector attends the hearing to speak about their concerns. You become a full party to the hearing proceedings if your attend in person.

The DLC Chair will open the hearing proceedings. Next, the alcohol licence applicant or the applicant's solicitor will state their case, giving evidence and calling witnesses in support of the application. The Police and the Licensing Inspector and/or Medical Officer of Health’s representative then present any matters of opposition.

Finally, the objectors have their say. This will involve each objector outlining their concerns followed by an opportunity for the applicant, the Police, the Licensing Inspector, Medical Officer of Health’s representative and the DLC members to ask questions of the objector.
 
When the hearing is finished, the DLC will reserve it's decision. This means it will meet after the hearing to consider the material presented at the hearing and write the decision. All DLC decision must be given in writing.

It may take up to six weeks for the decision to be issued. If you speak at the hearing you will be sent a copy of the decision.

If you have any questions about the hearings process please contact the Hearings Advisor by email DLC-AlcoholLicensing@ccc.govt.nz or phone 03 941 8999.