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Types of Licence

Wondering what kind of licence you need? The table below provides quick reference to the different types of licence. We also recommend seeking advice to determine the licence you require. You can do this by Googling ‘Liquor Industry Consultants’ or by reading the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.

What licence do you need?

The type of activity or business you plan will determine the type of liquor licence you will need. Applying for a liquor license can be a complex task. We recommend that you seek advice in correctly interpreting regulations and determining the type of licence you require. 

View Sale of Liquor Act 1989

Example Type Required
Occasion, event or series of occasions. E.g. weddings, wine tastings, birthdays. Special Licence
Incorporated clubs. E.g. sports clubs, social clubs, regular office drinks. Club Licence
Premises or conveyances that serve drinks and provide corkage/glasses. E.g. BYO premises, hotels, taverns, restaurants, night clubs. On Licence
Premises that only provide corkage/glasses (BYO only). Endorsed On Licence Endorsed On Licence
Premises that sell alcohol but don't serve it. E.g. liquor stores, supermarkets, wine shops. Off Licence Off Licence
New owner of existing licensed premises. A Temporary Authority is required when a new entity takes over an existing licensed premises and wishes to continue the sale and or supply of liquor until their own licence is issued. Temporary Authority
Catering Caterer's Endorsed Off Licence
Internet Distributers Off Licence
Winemakers

Winemakers are no longer required to hold a licence under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. Wine makers are now dealt with under the Wine Act 2003.

New Zealand Food Safety Authority
+64 4 463 2660

Club Licence

This licence authorises a club to sell or supply liquor for consumption on the premises. A club must be incorporated. Club licences are held by sports and social clubs. There must be a person with a current manager's certificate on duty at all times when liquor is being sold or supplied to the public.

All clubs:

  • must have a secretary, and
  • proceeds from the sale of liquor must belong to the club

 Please note that temporary authorities cannot be granted to club licensed premises.

Apply for a new club licence

General guidelines:

  • there is a fee for a club licence. The fee must be paid at the time of application and is not refundable
  • the processing timeframe is 25 working days provided that all the relevant information is included with the application
  • before you apply for your club licence you will need to obtain building and planning certificates
  • if you do not own the premises, the owner's consent must be included with the application
  • a plan of the premises must be included in the application
  • once your application has been accepted for lodgement, two public notices must be placed in the newspaper within 20 working days
  • this licence is initially renewable after one year then every three years after that
  • the licence application form including guidelines on what you need to do
  • the forms to apply for the compliance certificates
  • an application form for manager's certificate

Building and planning certificates

Planning Certificate under the Resource Management Act 1991

  • there is a fee
  • takes approximately 20 working days to process
  • Applications should include all supporting information and documentation, particularly planned usage of floor areas for ALL buildings on site, proposed or existing opening hours and parking requirements for each activity on site. Details of what's required are included on the application form.

 Building Code Certificate

This compliance certificate is required to ensure that the premises comply with the Building Code.

  • there is a fee (plus a fee for each additional inspection required)
  • takes approximately 20 working days to process

 Permitted occupancy number

The maximum occupancy number relates to the number and type of existing toilets serving the licensed area. This needs to be calculated and recorded on your application. Visit the Department of Building and Housing website to assess or check your current occupancy numbers.

View Department of Building and Housing website

NOTE: Application forms for Club Licences will be appended as soon as possible after 18 December 2013. In the interim please contact the Licensing Inspector.

Off Licence

This licence authorises the holder to sell or supply liquor for consumption off the premises. Drinking on these premises is not allowed.

There must be a person with a current manager's certificate on duty at all times when liquor is being sold or supplied to the public. You can only obtain an off licence for premises, ie no conveyance may obtain an off licence.

Apply for an off licence for a premises

General guidelines:

  • there is a fee for an off licence. The fee must be paid at the time of application and is not refundable
  • the processing timeframe is 25 working days provided that all the relevant information is included in the application
  • before you apply for your off licence you will need to obtain building and planning certificates
  • once your application has been accepted for lodgement, two public notices must be placed in the newspaper within 20 working days
  • this licence is initially renewable after one year then every three years after that.

 Step One:

  • Download and complete the Off licence application form at bottom of this page.

 Step Two:

  • Include three copies of ALL the following documents:
    • application form, signed and dated
    • copies of building and planning certificates once they have been issued by Napier City Council
    • a scale plan drawn to draughtsman standards with dimensions and total area showing:
      • the part of the premises to be used for the sale of liquor
      • the main entrance
      • any part to be designated 'supervised' or 'restricted' as defined in the Sale of Liquor Act
    • owner's consent if you do not own the premises
    • a map showing the location of the premises (eg a photocopy of a street map with your site marked)
    • exterior photograph or artist's impression showing the main entrance
    • Certificate of Incorporation if the applicant is a company
    • a brief written submission describing the way your business will operate, eg who the certified manager will be and a description of the business background of those persons involved
    • legal description or certificate of title of the premises. You can find these by contacting us
    • where the application relates to a grocery store particulars of the principal business of the store, including evidence and certified accounts showing the percentage of turnover that is derived from the sale of main order household foodstuffs.

 Step Three:

  • Send your application, including the fee, to District Licensing Agency, Napier City Council, Private Bag 6010, Napier. Please make cheques payable to Napier City Council.

Once your application has been accepted for lodgement, you must place 2 public notices within 20 working days (1 week apart) When the notices have been published, you need to send a copy of each notice from the newspaper (preferably the full page) showing the date and name of the paper to the; District Licensing Agency, Napier City Council, Private Bag 6010, Napier.

During the 30 days it take to process your application, we will:

  • request a police report
  • a liquor licensing inspector will contact you for an interview before completing their report. The inspector will probably want to visit your premises
  • your application must be held in the agency office for a minimum of 10 working days after the publication of the first public notice to allow for objections from interested parties
  • if objections are received copies will be sent to you by this office

 A copy of the inspectors and police report will be posted to you.

Apply for a caterers endorsed off licence

If you are a caterer, an endorsed off licence authorises the sale or supply of liquor for functions or events. Before you apply for your off licence you will need to obtain building and planning certificates of compliance.

General guidelines:

  • there is a fee for an endorsed off licence. The fee must be paid at the time of application and is not refundable
  • the processing timeframe is 25 working days provided that all the relevant information is included in the application
  • once your application has been accepted for lodgement, two public notices must be placed in the newspaper within 20 working days
  • this licence is initially renewable after one year then every three years after that.

 Step One:

  • Download and complete the Off licence application form at bottom of this page.

Step Two:

  • Include three copies of ALL the following documents:
    • application form, signed and dated
    • copies of building and planning certificates for your registered premises (the place you store liquor and prepare food) once they have been issued by Napier City Council
    • a scale plan drawn to draughtsman standards with dimensions and total area showing:
      • the part of the premises to be used for the sale of liquor
      • the main entrance
      • any part to be designated 'supervised' or 'restricted' as defined in the Sale of Liquor Act. You need to designate the area where you store liquor in your registered premises
    • owner's consent if you do not own the premises
    • a map showing the location of the premises (eg a photocopy of a street map with your site marked)
    • exterior photograph or artist's impression showing the main entrance
    • in the case of a company, provide the certificate of incorporation and brief details of directors and shareholders (names, addresses and dates of birth)
    • a brief written submission describing the way your business will operate, eg who the certified manager will be and a description of the business background of those persons involved
    • legal description or certificate of title of the premises.
    • evidence to show that you (the applicant) are or will be conducting the business of a caterer, including the frequency and types of functions that are or are proposed to be catered for.

 Step Three:

  • Send your application, including the fee, to:

District Licensing Agency, Napier City Council, Private Bag 6010, Napier.

Please make cheques payable to Napier City Council.

Once your application has been accepted for lodgement, you must place 2 public notices within 20 working days (1 week apart) When the notices have been published, you need to send a copy of each notice from the newspaper (preferably the full page) showing the date and name of the paper to the; District Licensing Agency, Napier City Council, Private Bag 6010, Napier.

During the 30 days it take to process your application, we will:

  • request a police report
  • a liquor licensing inspector will contact you for an interview before completing their report. The inspector will probably want to visit your premises
  • your application must be held in the agency office for a minimum of 10 working days after the publication of the first public notice to allow for objections from interested parties
  • if objections are received copies will be sent to you by this office

 A copy of the inspectors and police report will be posted to you.

Building and planning certificates

Note: The planning and building certificates must be granted before you apply for you liquor licence.

Planning Certificate under the Resource Management Act 1991

The planning certificate, when granted, confirms that the proposed use of the premises meets requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991.

  • there is a fee
  • takes approximately 5-10 days working days to process
  • applications should include all supporting information and documentation, particularly planned usage of floor areas for ALL buildings on site, proposed or existing opening hours and parking requirements for each activity on site. Details of what's required are included on the application form.

Building Code Certificate

This certificate, when granted, confirms that the proposed use of the premises meets requirements of the Building Code.

  • there is a fee
  • takes approximately 20 working days to process

On Licence

This licence authorises the holder to sell or supply liquor on premises or conveyances. Liquor cannot be removed from these premises or conveyances. There must be a person with a current Managers certificate on duty at all times when liquor is being sold or supplied to the public.

Apply for an On Licence for a premises

General guidelines:

  • there is a fee for an on licence.
  • there is a fee for a BYO on licence. (No manager's certificate required)
  • fees must be paid at the time of application and are not refundable
  • the processing timeframe is 30 working days provided that all the relevant information is included in the application
  • before you apply for your on licence you will need to obtain building and planning certificates
  • once your application has been accepted for lodgement, two public notices must be placed in the newspaper within 20 working days
  • this licence is initially renewable after one year then every three years after that.

 Step One:

Download and complete the On licence application form at bottom of this page.

Step Two:

  • Include three copies of ALL the following documents:
    • application form, signed and dated
    • copies of building and planning certificates once they have been issued by Napier City Council
    • a scale plan drawn to draughtsman standards with dimensions and total area showing:
      • the part of the premises to be used for the sale of liquor
      • the main entrance
      • any part to be designated 'supervised' or 'restricted' as defined in the Sale of Liquor Act
    • owner's consent if you do not own the premises
    • a map showing the location of the premises (eg a photocopy of a street map with your site marked)
    • exterior photograph or artist's impression showing the main entrance
    • a sample of your menu
    • in the case of a company, provide the certificate of incorporation and brief details of directors and shareholders (names, addresses and dates of birth)
    • a brief written submission describing the way your business will operate, eg promoting mainly food or bar facilities, who the certified manager will be and a description of the business background of those persons involved
    • host responsibility policy
    • legal description or certificate of title of the premises. You can find these details in the Planning department of the Napier City Council building.

 Step Three:

  • Send your application, including the fee, District Licensing Agency, Napier City Council, Private Bag 6010, Napier. Please make cheques payable to Napier City Council.

Once your application has been accepted for lodgement, you must place 2 public notices within 20 working days (1 week apart). When the notices have been published, you need to send a copy of each notice from the newspaper (preferably the full page) showing the date and name of the paper to the; District Licensing Agency, Napier City Council, Private Bag 6010, Napier.

During the 30 days it take to process your application, we will:

  • request a police report
  • a liquor licensing inspector will contact you for an interview before completing their report. The inspector will probably want to visit your premises
  • your application must be held in the agency office for a minimum of 10 working days after the publication of the first public notice to allow for objections from interested parties
  • if objections are received copies will be sent to you by this office

 A copy of the inspectors and police report will be posted to you.

Apply for an on licence for a conveyance

This licence is required if you plan on selling or supplying liquor in a conveyance, for example limousine, party bus, ferry, cruise vessel, etc.

General guidelines:

  • there is a fee for an on licence for a conveyance. This must be paid at the time of application and is not refundable
  • the processing timeframe is 30 working days
  • you will need to supply with your application (as relevant) a current
    • Safe Ship Management Certificate (sea vessels)
    • Airworthiness Certificate (aeroplanes)
    • Warrant of Fitness (vehicles)
  • if you do not own the conveyance, the owner's consent must be included with the application
  • a layout plan of the conveyance must be included with the application
  • once your application has been accepted for lodgement, two public notices must be placed in the newspaper within 20 working days
  • this licence is initially renewable after one year then every three years after that

 Contact us for information and for an application pack for an on licence for a conveyance. The application pack contains:

  • the licence application form
  • an application form for manager's certificate

Building and planning certificates (for premises only)

Note: The planning and building certificates must be granted before you apply for you liquor licence.

Planning Certificate under the Resource Management Act 1991

The planning certificate, when granted, confirms that the proposed use of the premises meets requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991.

  • there is a fee
  • takes approximately 5-10 working days to process
  • Applications should include all supporting information and documentation, particularly planned usage of floor areas for ALL buildings on site, proposed or existing opening hours and parking requirements for each activity on site. Details of what's required are included on the application form.

Building Code Certificate

This certificate, when granted, confirms that the proposed use of the premises meets requirements of the Building Code.

  • there is a fee
  • takes approximately 5-10 working days to process

Special Licence

This licence is only valid for the timeframe permitted by the special licence. It can apply to a property, location or conveyance (e.g. boat or train).

The special licence holder must control the liquor at the event and ensure statutory responsibilities are observed. This cannot be achieved if guests bring their own liquor therefore special licences do not permit BYO functions.

When is a special licence needed?

A special licence is required if liquor is sold or supplied to any people attending any "particular" occasion or event or series of occasions or events. It is required at any function where:

  • no on licence or club licence exists
  • the caterer does not have an endorsed off licence
  • there are non-club members present on club licensed premises
  • the function is outside the hours or area authorised on an existing on licence or club licence

Examples of these functions include birthdays, weddings, social gatherings, client functions and other temporary bar set-ups.

Examples of a series of 'one-off' functions would be:

  • a three day event where you may wish to sell or supply liquor, and will be required to apply for one special licence for a series of days
  • a social club that holds drinks on the last Friday of each month can apply for all of these Fridays on the one special licence application
  • you can apply 12 months in advance for these occasions/events if the event dates are known
  • the event MUST be held on the same premises

 You are not required to hold a special licence

  • if you are supplying liquor to your guests in your own private residence
  • if your guests are bringing liquor to your own private residence

Applying for a special licence

Special licences cannot be renewed. However, if you know the dates of future events to be held at the same venue, you can obtain a special licence for future events on the one application.

  • There is an application fee structure for a special licenses based on the level of associated risk (how many people attend etc). This fee is non-refundable
  • if you do not own the premises, the owner's consent must be included with the application
  • a floor plan of the premises must be included in the application
  • the minimum processing time for an application for a special licence is 20 working days
  • the company or person taking the profit from the sale of liquor should be the applicant.
  • you must be 20 years or older to apply.

The processing time includes a period of 20 working days required by the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 for the Police and District Health Board staff to supply reports. Controversial applications or profit oriented commercial applications may need to be advertised through a public notice. Consequently, additional time is required to process these. In these cases 40 working days notice may be required.

If you are applying for a special licence, you need to provide all the required information when you lodge the application to avoid a delay in processing. The special licence application forms and guidelines (attached below) provide details on the information we need. If you are unsure whether you need a special license or not, call the Liquor Licensing Inspector for advice on 06 835 7579.

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