Alcohol Licensing

The Health Protection Team works in partnership with local licensing inspectors, police, community groups and other organisations to minimise addiction and alcohol related harm in the community by:

  • Reducing the supply of alcohol to under 18 year olds
  • Reducing intoxication in licensed premises
  • Reducing alcohol sponsorship and advertising
  • Advocacy on legislation (the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (the Act)). The Act aims to minimise harm from alcohol by managing the way it’s sold, supplied and consumed.

The wider public health team at HBDHB works on initiatives to promote the safe use of alcohol and reduce the harm caused by alcohol. Click here to read more about the work that they do.

Click here to read the HBDHB position statement on reducing alcohol related harm.

Click here to learn some key facts about drinking in New Zealand.

Reporting on applications made under the Act

There are four main types of licence:

  • on licences (e.g. pubs and restaurants)
  • off licences (e.g. supermarkets and liquor retailers)
  • club licences (e.g.  sports clubs, RSAs)
  • special licences (short-term licences for events)

The type of licence you require depends on what you want to do. Have a look on your council’s website (and/or contact them) for specific guidance on which licence is right for you:

A copy of all licence applications made to the local District Licensing Committees (DLC) are sent to:

  • The licensing inspector at your local council receives a copy of your application and has to report on it under the Act.
  • New Zealand Police receives a copy and may report on it if it opposes it.
  • The Medical Officer of Health receives a copy and may report on it if they oppose it.
  • The New Zealand Fire Service may be given a copy, and asked to provide information, if the district licensing committee decides this is necessary.

A Health Protection Officers or our Health Protection/Promotion Advisor will undertake an investigation on these applications on behalf of the Medical Officer of Health under the Act framework. This is primarily focused on the suitability of the applicant, in particular their focus on preventing alcohol related harm through good host responsibility practices. This investigation will result in a report back to the DLC and if necessary the Officer and/or Medical Officer of Health will present evidence at a hearing.

Visit the Health Promotion Agency’s alcohol.org.nz for more information about alcohol licensing such as the appplication process, hearings and the District Licensing Committees.