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Liquor Licensing

Types of licences

The sale and supply of liquor to the public or any member of the public requires a licence under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. Council is an agency for the Liquor Licensing Authority in Wellington that issues licences.


There are four types of liquor licences:

1. On Licence
2. Off Licence
3. Club Licence
4. Special Licence

The type of licence required is dependent upon the type of activity or business undertaken.

There are two types of Manager's certificates:

1. General Manager
2. Club Manager

An application is required to be completed, as well as any additional evidence or documentation you need to supply, and the correct fee. In considering your application, Council will obtain reports from the Police, and may obtain reports from a Medical Officer of Health. Your suitability as an applicant will also be considered and an interview may be necessary.

Download Fees & Charges Click 85 kB which includes the current Liquor Licensing fees and charges.

If the application requires public notification, there may be public objection to the application. For further information, contact the Environmental Health Officer at the Council Offices.

New Laws for Liquor Licensing.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 has been passed into law.  The new laws replace the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 in stages by 18 December 2013.

The purpose of the legislative change is to improve New Zealand's drinking culture and reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking. Key features include:

The new laws come into force in stages to allow time to prepare for the new system.  In summary:

From 19 December 2012:

  • The new Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) replaces the Liquor Licensing Authority.
  • Only interim one-year licences can be issued for new liquor licences.  When interim licences expire, holders must apply for a new licence under the criteria of the new laws.
  • Local authorities can start drafting local alcohol policies (LAPs).

From 18 June 2013:

  • All licence applications have to meet new, expanded criteria (e.g. whether the licence is likely to increase alcohol-related harm or negatively impact the community).
  • All licence applications also are subject to new grounds for objection.

From 18 December 2013:

  • Anyone who supplies alcohol to under 18 year olds must do so responsibly (e.g. by supplying food and non-alcoholic drinks and arranging safe transport). The penalty for failing to do so is a fine of up to $2,000.
  • Territorial authorities can implement local alcohol policies (LAPs).
  • New national maximum trading hours apply.
  • On-licences, such as bars, will have to provide water, low-alcohol beverages, food and information about safe transport.
  • Using a fake ID, using someone else's ID and giving or lending an ID to an underage person knowing they intend to use it to buy alcohol becomes an offence.
  • New offences apply for irresponsible advertising and promotions.
  • Licences and managers certificates can be cancelled for five years for specified repeat offences.
  • District Licensing Committees (DLCs) replace District Licensing Agencies. DLCs will decide all applications for new or renewed licences and managers certificates.

For more information about this please click on this link: http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/sale-and-supply-of-alcohol

A copy of the Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) for the Eastern Bay of Plenty, can be downloaded from here: Local Alcohol Policy Click (786 kB). 

District Licensing Committee

The District Licensing Committee makes decisions on alcohol licensing for Kawerau, Whakatane and Opotiki. The DLC decisions for Kawerau are available here:  Kawerau - DLC decisions

For further information on matters related to the District Licensing Committee, please contact