Special Licences

You need to apply for a special licence if:

  • an event is being held in a place that is not licensed (e.g. a park or community hall)
  • the event will run outside the licensed premises current hours or conditions, but cannot be for an extension of licensing hours (i.e. it must be an event)
  • alcohol is being supplied at no cost, but there is a cover charge to enter the event, meal charge, a donation or any other form of charge

The Application Process

  1. Determine Your Event Size

    • Large event – attended by more than 400 people
    • Medium event – attended by 100 to 400 people
    • Small event – attended by less than 100 people

    If you are planning a large-scale event, additional information is required including an Alcohol Management Plan and an Event Management Plan.

    Template | Alcohol Management Plan (PDF file, 127.0 KB)

    Template | Event Management Plan (PDF file, 126.9 KB)

    The following guide may also be useful:

    Alcohol.org.nz | Guidelines for managing alcohol at large events - AL1186 (PDf file, external)

  2. Fill Out the Application Form

    Application Form | Special Licence (On-Site)  (PDF file, 387.0 KB) (PDF file, 515.4 KB)

    Information Sheet | Special Licences (PDF file, 113.3 KB)

    The application must be made at least 20 working days prior to the event.

    Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, weekends, statutory holidays and any days from 20 December through to and including 15 January are not considered working days.

  3. Wait for a Decision

    The application is reviewed and reported on by the Police, Medical Officer of Health and the Licensing Inspector.

    If there are any issues or concerns with the application, or it is opposed by any of those mentioned above, you will be contacted.

    The application is forwarded to the District Licensing Committee to consider. If your application is granted, we will issue the licence. If declined, the application fee is not refunded.

Alcohol Licensing Fees & Charges

An on-site special licence allows for the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises (or in a designated area) where the event is being held. This includes on a bus, train, ferry or other vehicle – called a conveyance style special licence.

An off-site special licence allows for the sale of alcohol to people to take away for consumption elsewhere. The licence holder may also supply samples of alcohol free of charge, for consumption on the premises.