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: For events or occasions such as weddings, funerals, wine tastings and birthdays where a licence is required only for a short period of time and where the applicant intends to sell alcohol.
You do not need a special licence when you are supplying alcohol or guests are bringing their own alcohol to a private event, as long as it is not open to the public. This only applies to a private event where a family occasion is celebrated in a hired venue and guests bring their own alcohol or the host supplies it for free.
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.
How to get a licence
- Meet with us to explain your plans and discuss any issues prior to making your application for an alcohol licence.
- Apply for RMA and Building Act certificates.
- Lodge your licence with the District Licensing Committee (DLC).
- Publicly notify your application on our website* or in the newspaper within 20 working days of lodging the application.
- Place a notice on the building/s for the period the advertisements run.
- Submit evidence of public notification to the DLC by supplying copies of the advertising and building notice.
- The DLC will refer your application to the reporting agencies (licensing inspector, police and Taranaki District Health Board) 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.
*You can ask us to place your application in the public notices part of this website.
Note: Most special licences do not need to be publicly notified and may not require RMA and building certificates.
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 (2019/20)
On, off and club licence applications are generally processed within 14 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.
Special licence costs
- For one or two events covered by the licence that are of a small scale (<100 people) $63.25.
- For three to 12 events that are of small size (<100 people), or one to three events that are of medium size (100-400 people) $207.
- For all other special licences, including licences for events that are of a large size (more than 400 people) $575.
- For a funeral $63.25.
Note: A territorial authority may, in its discretion and in response to particular circumstances, charge a fee for a special licence that is 1 class below the class of the licence that is issued; but no fee may be less than the fee payable for a class 3 special licence.
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.
|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)||$368.00||$161.00|
|Very High (26 plus)||$1,207.50||$1,437.50|
Cost/risk framework used to work out fees
The fees for all licensed premises (on, off, club) are assessed using a cost/risk category. This is based on weighting the type of licence, the hours and any enforcement action.
To work out the weighting for your premises 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, class1 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 2:00 am; Off-licences before 10.00 pm||0|
|On-licences and clubs 2:01am-3:00 am; Off-licences 10:00 pm and later||3|
|On-licences and clubs – any time after 3:00 am||5|
|Number of enforcements in last 18 months||Weighting|
|2 or more||20|