If you want to sell alcohol to the public then you will need an alcohol licence.
If you are having an event or function, such as a wedding or an exhibition opening, and you will be providing alcohol to your guests, as long as there is no charge for either the alcohol or for attending the event or function, then you do not need an alcohol licence.
If you plan to charge for alcohol or for entry to an event that includes alcohol you will need a Special Licence.
Look at the following situations to find out which type licence applies to your activity.
|Premises that sell and supply alcohol, eg:|
|Tavern, hotel, restaurant, café, BYO restaurant, caterer
(alcohol is consumed on the premises)
|Bottle store, grocery store, supermarket, auctioneer, mail order business
(alcohol is consumed away from the place of purchase)
|Conveyances (vehicles) that sell and supply alcohol, eg:|
|Bus, boat||On Licence (Conveyance)|
|Clubs that sell and supply alcohol, eg:|
|Sport, social, cultural||Club Licence|
|Events or special occasions where alcohol is to be sold and supplied, eg:|
|Function on hired premises (eg. public or community hall), sports events, fundraisers, where alcohol is consumed on-site||On-site Special Licence (Premises)|
|Food and wine show, market stall at fair or gala where wine or beer is sold by bottle unopened for consumption off-site||Off-site Special Licence (Premises)|
|Bus, boat, limo||On-site Special Licence (Conveyance)|
|Buying an existing business that sells alcohol||
If there is an alcohol licence in place, there also needs to be someone who holds a Manager's Certificate on duty at all the times. These are often called Bar Manager's Certificates or Duty Manager's certificates. See the section on Manager's Certificates for more information.
Alcohol Licensing - Information Sheet.pdf (pdf 210 KB)
Criteria for Issue of New On and Off Licences - Information Sheet.pdf (pdf 254 KB)
Criteria for Renewal of On and Off Licences - Information Sheet.pdf (pdf 266 KB)
Special Licence - Information Sheet.pdf (pdf 226 KB)
Taking over an Alcohol Licensed Premises - Information Sheet.pdf (pdf 237 KB)
Discussing your proposal with an alcohol licensing inspector can reduce the likelihood of delays and surprises after your application has been lodged. Inspectors can discuss the requirements of the legislation which may have an impact on your proposal.
Contact us on 03 543-8400 or by email at email@example.com.
For a summary of licences and the requirements read this information sheet
Your application needs to include some supporting documents, such as a summary of your experience in running alcohol businesses, information on what training you will give staff to comply with the law, copies of menus, and a floor plan. Check the list of documents required on each application form.
The first step before applying for an alcohol licence is to apply for a certificate that states the proposed use of the premises meets the requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Building Code. You will need to submit an application form and a floor plan of your premises. Download the application form here:
If you are taking over an existing business that is licensed to sell alcohol you will need to apply for a Temporary Authority. It is normally issued for three months.
Taking over an Alcohol Licensed Premises - Information Sheet.pdf (pdf 237 KB)
If possible, an application for a Temporary Authority should be lodged at least 20 working days before the takeover date. This allows the Inspector and Police to enquire into the application, and for the District Licensing Committee to meet to determine it. It is recommended that this timeframe be taken into account when agreeing on a takeover date.
To apply for a Temporary Authority, you will need to complete the application form, attach some evidence of legal entitlement such as a copy of the sale and purchase agreement or lease, and pay the application fee of $296.70.
A special licence allows for the sale of alcohol at special occasions or events. They are normally used to licence one-off events where no licence is currently held, such as a food and wine festival or a quiz night. A Special Licence can also be used to extend the hours or area of a licensed premises for a special occasion or event.
A special licence is valid for the particular event, or series of events, or social gathering, specified in the licence. There are two types of special licence:
Applications must be lodged at least 20 working days (four weeks) before the date of the event. It's important to note that a 'working day' does not include weekends, statutory holidays or any day between 20 December and 15 January (inclusive).
This is to allow the Police and Public Health to comment on your application and the Inspector to write a report for the District Licensing Committee. Exceptions can be made for unforeseen events, such as funerals.
We also recommend that applications for special licences for large events (over 400 people) be submitted at least three months before the date of the event and that the licence should be secured before any event advertising takes place.
Large events over 400 people require an alcohol management plan to be submitted. These take longer to process. To avoid disappointment of the licence not being granted in time we advise that applications be made much earlier than the minimum 20 days, ideally 3 months before the event.
To apply for a Special Licence, complete the application form attached below and submit it to the Council with the appropriate fee. You must provide sufficient detail on the form for the District Licensing Committee to understand your event and how it will be managed.
You may be contacted by the Council Inspector, Police or Public Health to discuss your application in detail, especially for larger events.
An information sheet is available that explains more detail about Special Licences and how to make an application. Tasman District Council has a Local Acohol Policy that applies to Special Licences. Special Licences will not be issued for more than 25 events or for a period exceeding 6 months. Please contact a Licensing Inspector on 03 543 8400 if you have any questions.
For events where over 400 people are expected, you must also submit an Alcohol Management Plan detailing how you will deal with managing alcohol across the site, security, monitoring, interaction with local residents, and public health concerns. You can use the attached guidance and template to help you:
The Health Promotion Agency has some free resources abut alcohol to help train your volunteers or help organise a safe event. Check out their website:
If you are planning an event that is child-focused, or to be held on school property, you should contact the Medical Officer of Health, Dr Andrew Lindsay, on 03 546 1537, prior to making an application for a special licence.
The Medical Officer of Health may oppose applications for alcohol at child-focused events, such as school fairs, children's sports events and children's prizegivings, so it's best to discuss the circumstances of your event prior to making an application.
The Tasman Local Alcohol Policy contains a discretionary condition that "no school fete, gala or similar event held on school grounds at which the participation of children can be reasonably expected shall allow for the consumption of alcohol on the premises". The District Licensing Committee may refuse any application that is contrary to the local alcohol policy.
If you want to consume alcohol on a hired bus, for example on a journey home from a sports match, you can apply for a special licence to supply or sell alcohol to the passengers. A special licence cannot be issued for a bus trip where each individual brings their own alcohol to consume. A person applying for a special icence to supply or sell alcohol must take responsibility for controlling intoxication, provide non-alcoholic alternatives and sometimes food.
All Special Licences have to be decided on by the District Licensing Committee.
If your licence is not opposed by the Inspector or Police or Public Health, the Chairman can decide it on his own, based on the information you have given on the application form.
If there is any opposition to the application, or there is insufficient information in your application to make a decision, the Committee may have to hold a full hearing where you will be invited to attend and answer questions.
This takes a lot longer to organise, and will take longer than 20 working days, so you are advised to apply at least eight weeks in advance for large events or if you think a full hearing may be needed.
If you want to renew your alcohol licence, you will need to apply to renew it BEFORE it expires.
We will normally send you a reminder and application form to help you, but it is still your responsibility to keep it current.
If you licence expires, you have to cease selling alcohol immediately. You cannot renew a licence once it has expired, you will need to start again by applying for a new licence, and wait for the objection period to close which takes 15 working days.
Once you have applied to renew your licence by sending in the completed application form, supporting information and paying the fee. the application will eb sent to the Inspector, Police and Public Health who will all make a report to the District Licensing Committee.
If you have applied to renew your licence, it won't expire, even if it goes past the expiry date, as long as you have applied for it before it expired.
Download the application form and complete all the relevant boxes.
Submit your application by sending us the application form, the supporting information and paying the application fee.
Once we have received your application for an alcohol licence and the required fee, we will start to process it.
We will send your application to the Licensing Inspector at Council, the Police, and to Public Health at the District Health Board. All three agencies will write a report on the application and provide it to the District Licensing Committee. Any of the agencies may contact you to interview you, or visit you to discuss your application and view your premises.
At the same time we will publicly advertise your application on our website for a minimum of 15 working days (not including weekends or public holidays). You'll also need to display a public notice at your premises. This allows the public to make submissions and object to your application.
The reports from the three agencies are then submitted to the District Licensing Committee who make the decision on whether to grant you an alcohol licence. If there are no objections the Committee can decide it during a meeting. If there are objections the Committee will hold a public hearing where you will need to atend and answer questions about your application.
If your application for an on or off licence is approved, you will then need to pay the annual fee before it is issued to you.
Once you receive your licence you can sell alcohol.
If you are a member of the public that wants to make an objection against an application for an alcohol licence, you can use the online submission form to provide us with your objection to a current application.
Read more about making an objection or submission to an alcohol licencing application.
Once you have completed your Licence Controller Qualification training course, and have about six months experience of working in the job, you can apply for a Manager's Certificate.
How to apply:
At all times when alcohol is available for sale to the public in an On- or Off-licensed premises, and in some clubs, a person who holds a current Manager's Certificate must be on duty.
The manager is responsible for compliance with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, the conditions of the licence and the conduct of the premises.
To be issued a Manager's Certificate you have to complete the Licence Controller Qualification training course, be a suitable person, be employed at a licensed premises, have six months experience, and have an interview with an Inspector.
You need to be 20 years of age to hold a Manager's Certificate. You can do your Licence Controller Qualification before you are 20 but cannot hold a Manager's Certificate until you reach the age of 20.
Applicants need to have the Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ) issued under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 which includes the two Unit Standards: Unit Standard 4646 (which requires a person to demonstrate knowledge of the Act) and Unit Standard 16705 (which requires a person to demonstrate knowledge of host responsbility requirements as a manager).
Applicants that have an older Licence Controller Qualification under the old Sale of Liquor Act 1989 would have needed to obtain the Bridging Test Certificate before January 2017 to convert to the new legislation. If you did not get the Bridging Test before 2017 you will need to resit the course.
Local training providers:
When a licensee appoints a Temporary Manager or Acting Manager, or a Manager starts or leaves employment at a licensed premises, the licensee must notify us and the Police using the following form:
Your alcohol licence will usually be issued for either 1 year or 3 years. You will need to ensure you comply with your licence conditions and the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 at all times. There are some tools to help you do this.
The Health Promotion Agency has many free resources and toolkits on their website that you can download to help you run your business www.alcohol.org.nz
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 introduced several new measures around host responsibility. All on-licensed premises have to:
Information on how to write a host responsibility policy and posters about host responsibility are available from the Public Health Service, Nelson Marlborough District Health Board Phone 03 5461537.
If you want to make changes to the conditions of your licence, for example changing the hours or adding outside spaces for drinking, you will need to apply to vary your licence. If you vary the licence conditions at the same time your renewal is due there is no extra fee to pay. If you want to vary your licence at other times, you have to pay a fee ranging from $368 to $1023.
Here's how to get in touch:
Phone: 03 5438400 ask for Environmental Health