Step 1: You

If you're planning to sell alcohol from a business or club, there are three different alcohol licences that may apply – on-licence, off-licence and club licence.

On-licence

An on-licence lets your business sell or supply alcohol for customers to drink on the premises.

You need to apply for an on-licence if your business is a:

  • tavern, pub, bar or nightclub
  • restaurant, cafe or BYO restaurant
  • theatre or cinema
  • hotel
  • caterer
  • vehicle (for example, a train or ferry).

Supporting documents you need to provide with your application:

  • Application fee + public notice fee (this is an application fee and is non-refundable after the application is received).
  • Detailed A4 scale map of the interior of the premises showing:
    • the areas used for the sale of alcohol
    • the areas that are to be restricted or supervised
    • all principal entrances
    • location of tables and chairs, toilets and kitchen
    • the use of footpath for outdoor dining (if applicable - attach outdoor dining permit)
    • CCTV placement and security lighting (if applicable).
  • A host responsibility policy.
  • Copies of each current manager's certificate for those nominated to manage the premises.
  • Evidence of staff training in host responsibility practices.
  • Copy of food menu (what is available and when).
  • A list of alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments you provide.

If you are applying for the on-licence on behalf of someone else:

  • A copy of the authority to act as an agent of the applicant, signed by the applicant.

Off-licence

An off-licence lets your business sell, supply or deliver alcohol for customers to drink off your premises (including small free tastings).

You need an off-licence if your business is a:

  • bottle store
  • grocery store
  • supermarket
  • remote sales (for example, sales via a website).

Dairies, petrol stations and convenience stores cannot hold an off-licence.

Supporting documents you need to provide with your application:

  • Application fee + public notice fee (this is an application fee and is non-refundable after the application is received).
  • Detailed A4 scale map of the interior of the premises showing:
    • the areas used for the sale of alcohol
    • the areas that are to be restricted or supervised
    • the principal entrance
    • the layout of the interior of the premises
    • CCTV placement and security lighting (if applicable).
    • For supermarkets and grocery stores only: the single area where alcohol will be displayed must be clearly shown
  • A host responsibility policy.
  • Copies of each current manager's certificate for those nominated to manage the premises.
  • Evidence of staff training in host responsibility practices.
  • For grocery stores only: A statement of twelve month sales figures (verified by an accountant) establishing the range of goods sold (as required by regulation 12/13 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Regulations 2013).
  • Copies of any proposed advertising or promotions (if available).

If you are applying for the off-licence on behalf of someone else:

  • A copy of the authority to act as an agent of the applicant, signed by the applicant.

Club licence

A club licence lets you sell or supply alcohol to drink at a club (such as a sports club or RSA) to:

  • club members
  • club members’ guests
  • members of clubs with reciprocal visiting rights.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need more than one type of licence – for example, a hotel might require an on-licence and an off-licence.

Supporting documents you need to provide with your application:

  • Application fee + public notice fee (this is an application fee and is non-refundable after the application is received).
  • Detailed A4 scale map of the interior of the premises showing:
    • the areas used for the sale of alcohol
    • the areas that are to be restricted or supervised
    • the principal entrance
    • location of tables and chairs, toilets and kitchen
    • the use of footpath for outdoor dining (if applicable - attach outdoor dining permit)
    • CCTV placement and security lighting (if applicable).
  • A host responsibility policy.
  • Copies of each current manager's certificate for those nominated to manage the premises.
  • Evidence of staff training in host responsibility practices.
  • Copy of food menu (what is available and when).
  • A list of all food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments you will be providing.

If you are applying for the club licence on behalf of someone else:

  • A copy of the authority to act as an agent of the applicant, signed by the applicant.

Fees you might encounter

LIQUOR LICENSING
Application Fees for On Licence, Off Licence, Club Licence and Renewals
Risk Factor Band:
Very Low $368.00
Low $609.50
Medium $816.50
High $1,023.50
Very High $1,207.50
LIQUOR LICENSING
Public notice administration fee
(for new/renewal of on-license,off-license and club licence)
Administration fee $100.00

How to pay

You can pay by cash or credit card at our customer service centre when you submit your application in person.

Step 2: You

Please download or complete the appropriate form and return your application form and supporting documents:

In person

Hamilton City Council
260 Anglesea Street
Hamilton

By post

Hamilton City Council
Private Bag 3010
Hamilton 3240

By email

licensing@hcc.govt.nz

Online

Max file size: 5 MB; Allowed extensions: pdf,doc,docx

Step 3: Council

Applications can take up to three months to process, or longer if further information is needed from the applicant or a public hearing is required. To ensure a smooth and swift processing time, it is important that the information supplied with your application is complete and accurate. 

Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant.

Once received, your application is checked to ensure that the details you have supplied are in line with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The criteria for the issue of a licence is set out in section 105 of the Act and the criteria for renewal is set out in section 131.

In addition to The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, a licence must also comply with any other act or policy that Council deems relevant, such as the Building C​​​ode​ of Complian​ceResource Management Act or Food Hygiene Regulations 1974. For more details on relevant acts and policies, see the NZ Legislation website​.​

A copy of the application is sent to the Police, the Medical Officer of Health and the Licensing Inspector, for their report. The applicant will receive copies of these reports as well as any objections received.

Finally, once all documentation and reports are received, the application is then put before our district licensing committee (DLC) for their decision. If your application receives any objection,  a public hearing may be required. The DLC may also refer your application to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA). You will receive notification of the DLC's decision via mail.

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Last updated 12 October 2023