Alcohol licences

If you want to sell or supply alcohol, you must hold a current alcohol licence. Apply for a licence or renew or change an existing licence.

See timelines and trading days for more information.

All applications should be made well before your certificate is required. On average about 6 weeks is required to allow for public notification, processing, statutory reporting on your application, and issuing of a District Licensing Committee (DLC) decision on your certificate. 

  • This includes taking account of all non-working day periods including. 
  • The time period required for processing may be longer if there are oppositions from the agencies for your application or if you have not supplied all the information required to assess your application.

Premises applications made in November/December:

  • If you want to receive a decision on your application before the Christmas period please ensure you have your application lodged with us at the beginning of November at the latest due to the non-working day period from 20 December to 15 January each year. 
  • This is our busiest time of the year for processing all types of applications.

Renewal of managers certificates

Renewal applications (external link)(external link)for certificates should be lodged 20 working days before the expiry date of the current licence or certificate.  In no case may the application be filed after the certificate has expired. 

It is your responsibility to ensure renewals are received on time.
If no renewal is received by the expiry date your certificate automatically expires. 

For certificates: if you allow your certificate to expire, it means your duty manager appointment may no longer be valid and you cannot work as the named duty manager.

You cannot renew an expired certificate and you will need to make a new application.

All application fees are for processing of an application need an invoice and are non-refundable, they must be paid when you apply for your licence or certificate.

Most alcohol licensing fees are set by the regulations. However, any fees set by the Council may be subject to annual review and any changes take effect on 1 July each year.

You will need an invoice from us before you make your payment. Payments can be made by cash or EFTPOS/Credit card at a service desk or by internet banking.  Internet banking payment account and reference details can be found on your invoice. You will need to provide proof of payment that includes confirmation of the payment details (e.g. screenshot of the completed transaction).

We can only process your applications once we have both the proof of payment of fees and the required application form and documents.

Note: As banks are phasing cheques out, we will no longer be able to accept payments by cheque after 30 April 2021. For other payment options please contact a Technical Officer in the Alcohol Licensing Team on 03 941 8999 or

View further fees information here or on the summary of this page Alcohol licensing fees information sheet [PDF, 98 KB].

See the updates for licensee on submitting application documents and payment options in the March 2021 Tri-Agency Newsletter

All licensed premises must display their alcohol licence next to the main entrance of the building. This will include their trading hours.

All applications for alcohol licences (new, renewal, and variations) need to be notified to the public by publication of a public notice.

All applications in the Christchurch City Council area (including Banks Peninsula) are published on an online public notice register.

Information and instructions for applicants about the transition to web notifications can be found in a special edition Tri-Agency newsletter.

Information developers, building owners and prospective tenants need to know early in the process about alcohol and food licensing and compliance requirements for hospitality developments.

Is your development or building intended for hospitality use?

Also refer to our step by step guide [PDF, 1.4 MB].

All On and Club licences are required to comply with the requirements of the noise provisions under the Resource Management Act. 

Noise from premises must be below the level prescribed in the relevant District Plan zone that the premises is in and any resource consent conditions relating to noise for that site and business use. These often relate to the use of/keeping windows and doors closed and limits on the use of outside speakers or type of amplified entertainment permitted/prohibited on site (including indoors).

You may need to speak with an acoustic consultant who can recommend options for managing noise onsite to meet compliance requirements.

Once operating, any noise complaints may result in a Noise Control Officer attending and issuing an Excessive Noise Direction (END notice) for the noise to be reduced immediately on site. Non-compliance with an Excessive Noise Direction may result in an Infringement Notice.

Information about noise control and noise from businesses

Preliminary enquiries

Discuss your proposed new premises with Alcohol Licensing Inspectors before applying for any new licence applications or variation to a licence.

Premises Certificate of Compliance (Alcohol)

All licensed premises must have a Certificate of Compliance.

Temporary authority

Allows the new owner of a licensed premise to trade on an existing licence until they obtain a new licence in their own name.

Lodgement meeting

A formal lodgement meeting is required with an alcohol licensing inspector in order to file your application for a new premises licence or variation application.


Allows the sale and supply of alcohol for drinking at the specified licensed premises.


Allows the sale and delivery of alcohol for drinking off the premises and the supply of complimentary samples of alcohol on the premises.

Club licence

Allows a club to sell alcohol for drinking on club premises to its members and their guests.

Special licence for events

Temporarily extends the hours or the area of a premises currently licensed, or licences one-off events where no licence is currently held and alcohol will be present at the event.

Processing your licence application

Step-by-step guide to what happens when you apply for an alcohol licence.

Renew your licence

To renew your alcohol licence you must apply at least 20 days before it expires

Variations to Alcohol Licences

Some changes to your business may need a variation to your licence conditions.


Age limits for people allowed at licensed premises.