Filling your application electronically
We can receive electronic filing of applications. Check out the application pages on this website for how to submit your documents on line and by emailed an invoice for payment by internet banking. For applications for a New on/off/club licence or a variation, please phone or email us for arrangements for your lodgement meeting (which will be by phone under Covid alert levels 3 and 4) and for filing and fee payment.
Our main contact is by phone and email. We thank you for your patience during this time while we all readjust working under different alert levels. We will endeavour to respond to any questions or applications in a timely manner.
Information from the Ministry of Justice on agency reporting under COVID-19
The Ministry of Justice has published an information page(external link) on 17 April, and updated on 5 May, about any Orders that have been issued under the Epidemic Preparedness (Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012—Licence Application Inquiries) Immediate Modification Order 2020.
This covers questions about any changes government has made to alcohol licensing processes and other general advice for Councils and their DLCs. We are required to follow the advice from the Ministry of Justice provides around legislative timelines and legal requirements during this period to ensure the intent and integrity of the licensing process is maintained for all parties.
COVID-19 alert levels
The requirements in response to the COVID-19 emergency have been put in place by MBIE, for you should consult the official COVID-19 website(external link) is alert levels change at any time so you understand the rules and you’re responsibilities:
All licence holders (including for clubs or special licences) need to follow the guidance on the COVID-19 website as it is updated for each alert level, looking at both gatherings, events, and public venues and workplaces and business sections.
What this means for your alcohol licence
The COVID-19 rules are over and above any alcohol licence conditions and are your responsibility.
It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the relevant COVID-19 alert level requirements at the time you are operating under your licence.
- Annual Fees: A friendly reminder also that any annual fees due need to be up-to-date and paid by their due date if you have been closed and are reopening under any level.
- Class 4 Gaming and COVID-19: info can be found on the DIA website(external link).
Key messages under alert levels
We suggest that you also talk directly with your industry associations or respective club/sporting associations for additional guidance and support and tools to use.
Under level 1: All licence holders (including for clubs or special licences) should follow best practice guidance under level 1(external link) for businesses and hospitality.
Key messages for hospitality and events under level 1 include:
- Play it safe: Customers tracking where they have been. Have an NZ COVID-19 tracer QR code for your business.
- Stay Healthy: Encouraging basic hygiene measures, including handwashing for staff and customer facilities, not coming to work if you are sick and cleaning of your premises.
Under level 2: Please keep up to date with information on the Covid-19 Web site(external link)
- Seated: Capacity rules
- Separated: Floor plan
- Single server: Social distancing responsibility
- Play it safe: Contact tracing and health and safety
If we are under a COVID-19 alert level, facility owners/managers can still choose to have additional requirements for those using their facilities. They will need to specify how you will manage your gathering under the relevant alert level at the time of the event.
You should prepare a COVID-19 Management Plan, that is agreeable to the venue owner, while we just need to confirm that you have one in place.
The issuing of a special licence does not confirm event compliance with any Government COVID-19 order requirements, as at the date of the event, for gatherings and sale of alcohol, including for capacity numbers. It is expected, and your responsibility, to observe any requirements of the Government that apply when operating your event on the day.
If your event is “postponed” to another date because of COVID-19 restrictions on public gathering size on the date your event was granted, preventing your event-taking place, then please let us know ASAP at the time. The Act allows for a postponement of an event to a new date in some circumstances, meaning we may be able to reissue your special licence for that same event with a new date. We consider postponements requests on a case-by-case basis as some conditions apply.
More information is on our application page.
Reporting suspected breaches by licensed premises – under levels 1 to 4
Members of the community concerned about breaches of alert level rules(external link). Under the Health Act Orders for COVID-19 alert levels, certain agencies are delegated enforcement powers – this does not include Council licensing inspectors.
The five agencies with these powers are the Ministry of Health, WorkSafe, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Police and Ministry for Primary Industries. These agencies have combined to provide a comprehensive approach to compliance.
You can register or report a breach at the COVID-19 website(external link). We understand compliance agencies review the urgency to confirm the appropriate responding agency. The online form makes it easy for these agencies to understand what the concern is, and who is best to respond. People who do not have access to the internet can still phone 105 to report their concerns to those agencies.
If you wish to make a complaint about a licensed premises operation under their Alcohol Licence and non-alert level breaches, or about their advertising or promotions please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If it looks to be and alert level matter we will refer to the police licensing team.