Rugby World Cup 2023 licensing changes made easy

Published on 31 August

The men’s Rugby World Cup 2023 runs from 9 September to 29 October 2023. As the games will be played in France, time zone differences mean many games will be broadcast outside the maximum licensed trading hours in New Zealand. The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act (Rugby World Cup 2023 Extended Trading Hours) Amendment Bill passed in July 2023.

This means that eligible on-licence and club-licence holders can extend their trading hours and won’t have to go through the usual special licence process, when televising live Rugby World Cup 2023 matches.

Get more RWC licensing information and notify your opening hours changes online

Please bear in mind that the primary or sole purpose of the premises being open during extended hours must be to allow customers to watch a live televised game of the men's Rugby World Cup 2023.  

Provisions to enhance public safety and minimise disruptions apply:

There is a requirement to give timely notice to Police and council if you wish to open for the matches. This needs to be done at least 7 days in advance and you can do this via the link to Business Connect below.

Licence holders need to include a noise management plan or have another arrangement in place for their premises to avoid additional noise disruption as part of their notification to the Police and local council

Licence holders must notify the Police and local council as soon as reasonably practicable if they change their plans and decide not to open after having notified otherwise

The Police retain the power under section 266 of the Act to immediately shut down premises in the circumstances specified in that section. The general offence for breaching restrictions and requirements under section 259 of the Act applies to the extended trading hours in the Bill.

The extended trading hours are subject to the following conditions: 

  • premises are permitted to open 1 hour before the start of each notified game
  • if a licence holder notifies a game that starts within 2 hours after the end of the permitted trading hours for the premises, the premises can remain open until and during that game
  • premises are required to close for the sale of alcohol 30 minutes after the end of the game, and
  • one-way door policies do not apply within 1 hour before the extended trading hours starts, during the extended trading hours, or within 1 hour after the premises closes the sale of alcohol.

If you would like extend your operating hours, notify us online.

Ministry of Justice has been working with Business Connect to develop a digitised form businesses can use to notify the relevant territorial authority and police. Business Connect is a centralised platform for New Zealand businesses to manage their licence, permits and registrations online.

You can complete the form on Business Connect, once submitted a summary of the notification is sent via email to the local territorial authority and police you have selected.

All notifications must be sent 7 days prior to the game you intend to open for.

  1. Click Business Connect
  2. Log in using your RealMe login.
    If you don’t have a RealMe login or if it’s your first time logging onto Business Connect, you will need to verify your email address.
  3. From the Business Connect dashboard, click the Hospitality tab.
  4. Click on Rugby World Cup extended trading hours tile and begin the form.

For help and support for the extension of trading hours, please email us at Alcohol Licensing at or call 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110 and ask for Alcohol licensing.

Any technical issues with the Business Connect platform, please contact

If you need help with RealMe, please go here.