The law

Alcohol licensing law in New Zealand is set by The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

The Act ensures the safe and responsible sale, supply and consumption of alcohol, and minimal harm is caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol.

Some key features of the Act include:

  • increasing the ability of communities to have a say on local alcohol licensing matters
  • allowing local level decision-making for all licence applications
  • requiring the express consent of a parent or guardian before supplying alcohol to a minor
  • requiring the responsible supply of alcohol to people under 18
  • strengthening the rules around the types of stores eligible to sell alcohol
  • restricting supermarket and grocery store alcohol displays to a single area.

Email licensing@hcc.govt.nz if you have any questions.

View the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

Who makes the decisions?

​​​​​​​​​​​Hamilton’s District Licensing Committee determines all alcohol licences.
This includes applications for:

  • a new licence and manager's certificate
  • a renewal of a licence and manager's certificate
  • a temporary authority to carry on the sale and supply of alcohol
  • the variation, suspension, or cancellation of special licences
  • the variation of licences (other than special licences).


Alcohol licensing inspectors also support the Committee and monitor licensed premises for compliance with the Act.

 

Hamilton District Licensing Committee decisions

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Under the Act, the Committee must give a written response to an application which must also be made publicly available.

View the Committee's decisions

You are also welcome to view an application - please contact us to arrange a time.

By phone
07 838 6633

By email
licensing@hcc.govt.nz

By visiting
Hamilton City Council
260 Anglesea Street

Objections

You can object to an alcohol licence application if you are a person of 'greater interest' (meaning you are more likely to be affected by the licence than others).
A person with a ‘greater interest’ would be someone living in the same street as the proposed licensed premises.


Grounds for objection


For a new licence, you can object to:

  • the days and hours the applicant proposes to sell alcohol
  • the design and layout of any proposed premises
  • the amenity and good order of the locality likely being reduced if the licence is issued
  • the applicant not having the appropriate systems, staff, and training to comply with the law.

In addition, for a licence renewal, you can also object to:

  • the suitability of the applicant
  • the way the applicant has sold (or sold and supplied), displayed, advertised, or promoted alcohol.

 

How to make an objection


You can submit an individual or group petition objection to an alcohol licence application. Some applicants circulate petitions to inform their neighbours of an application and to gain support in opposing a new licensed premises.

Your objection must be written and filed with the Committee within 15 working days of the first public notice appearing above.
You can send your objection:
By post
The Secretary
Hamilton District Licensing Committee
Hamilton City Council
Private Bag 3010
Hamilton 3240

By email
licensing@hcc.govt.nz

 

What happens next?


You’ll receive an acknowledgment letter from the Committee and the licensee will receive notice of the objection.

The Committee will then check the validity of your objection and set a time for a public hearing. You’ll be asked whether you wish to speak at the hearing.

Public hearings


A Committee hearing is a formal legal process like a court hearing, but it has a chairperson and a panel of appointed members instead of a judge.
Hearings are usually held at Hamilton City Council and are open to the public. Sometimes the public is excluded from the hearing for privacy reasons.

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Last updated 26 May 2022