We encourage you to talk with us early about your plans. We are happy to have preliminary enquiry discussions with you at any time.

Need an alcohol licence? Check out our handy step-by-step guide [PDF, 1.4 MB] to getting an alcohol licence. 

We encourage you to have preliminary enquiry discussions with us, as these are an opportunity for you to discuss your proposed new premises with alcohol licensing inspectors.

If you are planning to locate to a new building or making substantial changes to an existing building that may need consents or permits, we recommend you also seek advice from the planning and consents teams at Council.

There is no cost for preliminary enquiry discussions or meetings with inspectors.

Why you may need to have preliminary discussions

Preliminary discussions with us are encouraged as early as possible before you start completing your lodgement documentation. This is a good idea for all:

  • New premises, whether a new licence or you are taking over an existing business.
  • Where you are planning changes to your business and the way you operate, e.g. extending existing hours of trade, extending licence areas, adding outside areas under your licence, changing from a restaurant to tavern style of operation.

Discussions with us early in your planning process, well before you lodge your application, will help you prepare a comprehensive application and avoid unnecessary processing delays.

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?  [PDF, 1.5 MB]

How to make a preliminary enquiry

  1. Phone the Alcohol Licensing team on 03 941 8999 or email alcohollicensing@ccc.govt.nz and ask to talk with an inspector by phone or to make an appointment with an inspector for a preliminary enquiry discussion.
  2. Please advise at the time of making your phone call or appointment the following:
    • Your name and contact details.
    • Name of your trading company and proposed trading name of the business (if known).
    • Location and address of the proposed premises.
    • Type of licence you wish to apply for (On, Off, Club).
    • Nature of the proposed business, e.g. café, restaurant, tavern, bottlestore, remotes sales.

At a preliminary enquiry meeting

    The meeting (held at the Council’s Offices at 53 Hereford Street, Ground floor) will be with an alcohol licensing inspector. In some instances a representative from other reporting agencies of alcohol licences (Police and Medical Officer of Health) may also attend.

    At the meeting discussions we'll discuss:

    • Initial concepts and plans for the proposed business/changes to your business.
    • Business plans and required documentation.
    • Certificate of Compliance (Alcohol requirements) as your building and operation of business will need to comply with City Plan (Resource Management) and Building Act requirements.
    • Your background and experience in the industry.
    • Any other requirements you need to complete before applying for a premises licence, such as applying for a Manager's Certificate.

    Please note: Inspectors will give their professional opinion on the proposal and provide guidance where possible. However, the meeting is not intended to pre-empt the outcome of the alcohol licensing decision-making process.