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Applying for an Alcohol Licence

The following steps are a general guide to help you with the initial stages of your application for a alcohol licence.

You can contact the Tauranga District Licensing Agency on 07 577 7000 for assistance and more information.

Step 1

Determine the style of licence most appropriate for your business activity and download the relevant application form.

  • You need an on-licence if you plan to sell or supply alcohol in a bar, restaurant, hotels, taverns, night clubs, conveyance (bus or boat), or BYO restaurant, caterer.
  • You need an off-licence if you plan to sell alcohol but not serve it, either in a alcohol or wine shop, supermarket or grocery store, through internet distribution, or auctioneer. 
  • You need a club licence if you plan to sell or supply alcohol through an incorporated club, like a sports club, social club, or regular office drinks. 
  • You need a special licence for instances where you don’t need a licence long-term, ie a special event like a wedding or birthday at a venue or on a conveyance.

Step 2

Determine who the applicant should be. The application must be made in the name of the person or legal entity that receives the proceeds from the sale of alcohol.  This could be, for example, an individual, company, or partnership.

Step 3

Demonstrate compliance with the Resource Management Act and Building Code to obtain a Sale and Supply of Alcohol Certificate.  Use the Application Form - for all Activities or Proposals to apply for a Certificate of Compliance.

Compliance with the Resource Management Act and Building Code

Application Form - for all Activities or Proposals (425kb word)

Step 4

Once you have obtained your Sale and Supply of Alcohol Certificate you can apply for your alcohol licence. Processing straightforward licence applications takes between four – six weeks. More complex applications may take longer.

The alcohol licence application forms lists all the documentation you need to file with your application. You may wish to complete the alcohol licence application and obtain all the required documentation while waiting for your certificate of compliance to be issued.  Incomplete alcohol licence applications will not be accepted.

On, off and club licence forms

Step 5

Once we have received your application for an on-licence, off-licence, or club-licence, the District Licensing Committee will seek reports on your application from the relevant reporting bodies, e.g. the Police, the Alcohol Licensing Inspector, and the Medical Officer of Health.

Special licence application process

Step 6

You will be required to publicly notify (twice) your application for an on-licence, off-licence, or club-licence in a newspaper or newspapers - ie The Bay of Plenty Times or Weekend Sun.  Please contact these newspapers directly for costs.

You are required to provide to the Tauranga District Licensing Committee the full-page extracts from the newspaper or newspapers in which your public notification took place.

The general public have 15 days from the date of the first notice to lodge an objection.

If an objection is received, or one of the reporting bodies opposes all or part of your application, the application may need to be forwarded to the DLC in Wellington for determination at a public hearing.

Step 7

When all reports have been received and the public objection period has closed (and there is no opposition or objection) the application will be put before the DLC for approval. If approved, the licence will normally be issued immediately.

Note:  where there are final clearances required in relation to the Building Code or Food Hygiene Regulations, the licence will not be issued until these have been provided to the Agency.

Further information

Last Reviewed: 12/01/2017