Many people like to have a drink when they celebrate a special occasion or socialise. Licensing controls regulated drinking environments. Misuse of alcohol, including excessive and inappropriate consumption, however, can lead to alcohol-related harm.

All alcohol licence holders (including for clubs or special licences) must follow the COVID-19 guidelines(external link).

Agency reporting under COVID-19

The Ministry of Justice (external link)has information 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.

COVID-19 alert levels 

All licence holders (including for clubs or special licences) need to follow the guidance on the COVID-19 website(external link) for each alert level, looking at both gatherings, events, and public venues and workplaces and business sections.

It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the relevant COVID-19 alert level requirements at the time you are operating under your licence.

Class 4 Gaming and COVID-19 information can be found on the DIA website(external link).

Special licences

Facility owners/managers can still choose to have additional requirements for those using their facilities, regardless of the current alert level. They will specify how you 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 please let us know. 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

You can register or report a breach at the COVID-19 website(external link).

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

If it looks to be an alert level matter we will refer to the police licensing team.

Council, Police, the community and Public Health have a responsibility to control how alcohol is sold, supplied and consumed.

Hosts, retailers and alcohol suppliers also need to ensure they and their staff have the right training and the correct licences so guests and customers can enjoy alcohol responsibly and within the law. 

Applications for alcohol licences (new, renewal, and variations) need to be notified to the public by publication of a public notice. The public notices for all applications in the Christchurch City Council area, including Banks Peninsula, are published on the public notice register

Members of the public can object to an alcohol licence application in some cases.

Alcohol licensing in the community [PDF, 1.1 MB] also has useful information about what to do if you have a particular concern or a problem with licensed premises. You can do this through the Council's general report a problem or ask a question pages.

Our quick links for licensing information of interest are:

If you require more information or assistance with licensing processes, fees payment options information, or have a question or concern about an existing premise:

  • phone the Council Alcohol Licensing Team on 03 941 8999 and ask to talk to a Technical Officer.
  • email
  • post to PO Box 73013 Christchurch.

Separate from objecting to a licence application there are other ways in which members of the community can contact the Council to raise concerns or problems you may have with existing licenced premises [PDF, 1.1 MB], such as noise, nuisance, vandalism or specific promotions. 

Check out the latest tri-agency newsletters for updates and information for licensees. 


Alcohol licences

If you want to sell or supply alcohol, you must hold a current alcohol licence.

Manager's certificate

Allows you to manage any licensed premises.

Timelines and trading days

Defines working days and sacrosanct days that regulate time periods when you can apply for a licence and which days alcohol can be sold on licenced premises.

Alcohol licence fees

A schedule of fees relating to alcohol licensing applications and renewals.

Objecting to a grant of a licence

Members of the public can object to an application for an alcohol licence in some cases.

Host responsibility and alcohol promotions

Creating a responsible drinking environment and looking out for your customers.

Supplying food

Business with on-licences or club licences must have food available whenever they are open and selling alcohol.

Alcohol licence public notification

Applications for alcohol licences (new and renewal) must be notified to the public.

Alcohol bans

It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places in certain areas of Christchurch. This helps to keep our city safe and welcoming.

Christchurch tri-agency group newsletter

Latest information for alcohol licensees and duty managers.

Alcohol policies

Information on Council local alcohol policies.

District Licensing Committee

The role of the District Licensing Committee is to consider and determine all new and renewal applications.

Annual Reports to ARLA

Christchurch DLC Annual Reports to the Alcohol Licensing Regulatory Authority (ARLA) in Wellington.

Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan

The Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan includes strategies and actions for the non-regulated environment aimed at reducing alcohol harm across Christchurch.