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 premises (or conveyance, such as a train or boat). A licence cannot be transferred from one person to another, or from one premises 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; on, off, club and special licences.

On-licence: Authorises the holder to sell or supply alcohol for consumption on their premises, but alcohol cannot be removed from the site.  

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: 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.

Special licences: Authorises the holder to sell alcohol for a short period of time. It is generally used for events or occasions such as weddings, funerals, wine tastings and birthdays. 

Private events that do not require a special licence:

  • When the host is either supplying the alcohol for the guests for free, i.e. no sale, or guests are bringing their own (BYO) and
  • The event is not open to the public 

Temporary authority: If you have purchased a licensed business a temporary authority may be required to operate the business until your own licence has been approved.

Applying for a Special Licence

Apply for a Special Licence if you would like to sell alcohol for a short period of time, for example for a wedding, funeral, family occasion or prize giving. 

  • Complete and submit an Application for a Special Licence
  • Special licences take at least 20 working days to process, and may take longer if any information is missing.
Special licence Cost
Licence for one or two small scale events (<100 people) $63.25
Licence for three to 12 small scale events (<100 people), or one to three medium sized events (100-400 people) $207
All other special licences, including licences for large events (more than 400 people)  $575
Licence for a funeral  $63.25


Applying for an on-licence, off-licence and club licence

  1. Please contact us with details of your application before you submit it. This will help to clarify any issues and make sure you have all the information before you complete the application.  You can contact us through the website form or by phone.
  2. Complete the licence application form and submit it to NPDC. The application form includes forms for the application or renewal of the licence, a Police check form, an RMA Certificate Form and a Building Act Certificate Form. In some cases you may already have an RMA or Building Act certificate. If this is the case please include it with your application.
  3. NPDC will lodge your licence with the District Licensing Committee (DLC).
  4. NPDC will publicly notify your application on our website or in the newspaper within 20 working days of lodging the application. 
  5. Place a notice on the building/s for the period the notification is on the website or published in the newspaper.
  6. Submit evidence of public notification to the DLC by supplying copies of the advertising and building notice.
  7. The DLC will refer your application to the reporting agencies (licensing inspector, police and Taranaki District Health Board) for comment.
  8. 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. 

Encroachment licence

You will need to apply for an encroachment licence if you are planning on using the footpath as an outdoor area or your property protrudes over the footpath or street.

Timing and costs 

On, off and club licence applications are generally processed within 14 weeks of receiving the application. Processing time may be longer if there is information missing from your application, or if there are any objections to your application from the public or reporting agencies. 

On, off and club licence fees

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.

The fees for all licensed premises (on, off, club) are assessed using a cost/risk framework. This is based on weighting the type of licence, the hours and any enforcement action.

To work out the category for your premises use the dropdown boxes. The total will change depending on the option you select. Use the total to check the Application Fees table. If you prefer the full cost/risk tables are provided at the bottom of the page. 

 Application Fees    
Cost/risk category (based on weighting)  Application fee  Annual fee 
Cost/risk category (based on weighting) Application fee Annual fee (payable by licencee)
Very Low (0-2) $368 $161
Low (3-5) $609.50 $391.50
Medium (6-15) $816.50 $632.50
High (16-25) $1,023.50 $1,035
Very High (26 plus) $1,207.50 $1,437.50

Cost/risk framework tables

 To work out the weighting for your premises using these tables, check the three tables below and add up the relevant score from each table, then check the table above for the application and annual fee. Please note restaurants and clubs are subdivided into three classes to reflect their cost/risk.

Type of licensed premises  Weighting 
Supermarket, grocery store, bottle store 15
Class 1 restaurant, night club, tavern, adult premises 15
Off-licence in a hotel, tavern, class 1, 2 or 3 club 10
Class 2 restaurant, class 1 club, hotel, function centre 10
Remote sale premises, class 3 restaurant, class 2 club, other on and off premises not otherwise specified 5
Winery cellar doors, BYO restaurants, class 3 clubs, theatres, cinemas 2
Latest licensed hours  Weighting 
On-licences and clubs before 2am; Off-licences before 10pm 0
On-licences and clubs 2.01am-3am; Off-licences 10pm and later 3
On-licences and clubs – any time after 3am 5
Number of enforcements in last 18 months Weighting 
None 0
1 10
2 or more 20

Cost/risk category (based on weighting) Application fee Annual fee (payable by licencee)
Very Low (0-2) $368.00 $161.00
Low (3-5) $609.50 $391.00
Medium (6-15) $816.50 $632.50
High (16-25) $1,023.50 $1,035.00
Very High (26 plus) $1,207.50 $1,437.50

Cost/risk category (based on weighting) Application fee Annual fee (payable by licencee)
Very Low (0-2) $368.00 $161.00
Low (3-5) $609.50 $391.00
Medium (6-15) $816.50 $632.50
High (16-25) $1,023.50 $1,035.00
Very High (26 plus) $1,207.50 $1,437.50

Cost/risk framework used to work out fees