Liquor Licensing

The new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 was passed by Parliament in December 2012, replacing the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. The new act affects the way that alcohol is sold, supplied and consumed across New Zealand.

Under the new Act, anyone who wants to sell or supply alcohol must have a current alcohol licence. The process for obtaining a licence has changed significantly for a number of applications. To obtain an alcohol licence you must first ensure that:

  • you have the correct licence for the type of premises (on, off or club) and;
  • at least one person holds a managers certificate under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

Types of Licence

The following types of Alcohol Licence exist:

  • On Licence (e.g. pub, restaurant, cafe, bar)
  • Off Licence (e.g. bottle store, supermarket)
  • Club Licence (e.g. sports club, Returned Services Association)
  • Special Licence (e.g. events and functions)

An on-licence, off-licence, or club licence is granted initially for one year and then can be renewed every three years. Special licences are granted per event or for a series of events. A separate application must be submitted for each type of licence, along with a non-refundable fee and requirements for specific additional documentation. If you are taking over an existing licensed premises that already has a licence you will need to apply for a temporary authority to cover you while you're waiting for your new licence to be issued. On, off, and club licences are also subject to an annual fee on their anniversary.

Please note: If you require a change in hours of trade on your licence renewal due to the Local Alcohol Policy (LAP), then you need to complete the renewal form asking for the variation in hours – i.e. complete the relevant portions of page 6 and 7 of the renewal form.

You can apply for a licence or licence renewal on the pages below:

Manager's Certificates

At all times that liquor is being sold or supplied to the public on any licensed premises, there must be a duty manager who holds a manager's certificate present. It is the duty manager's responsibility to ensure that the regulations of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 are being upheld.

In any case where a manager is ill, absent, dismissed or resigns or for any reason, a licensee can appoint as a temporary or acting manager that is adequately trained.

New and existing managers are required to update their knowledge of the new Act. A bridging test will need to be completed by those who obtained their Licence Controller Certificate under the 1989 Act. This test is completed online and consists of 20 multiple-choice questions and is free of charge. Go to serviceiq.org.nz for more information.