Alcohol licensing

Kāti before you serve a drink! If you're planning to sell or supply alcohol to the public, you need a licence.

Applying for an alcohol licence

Before you sell or supply alcoholic drinks in Porirua, you need to make sure you have the correct alcohol licence.

  • Special licence – for sale at specific events or occasions.
  • On-licence – for sale and consumption of alcohol on a premise e.g. pub, restaurant, BYO restaurant.
  • Off-licence – for sale and consumption of alcohol off a premise e.g. supermarket, grocery store, bottle store, remote seller.
  • Club licence – for the sale and consumption of alcohol on a club premise.
  • Temporary Authority – allows a new company, or person to trade using the current base licence

For a pre-lodgement check, phone us on (04) 237 5089. 

Licence fees are noted on the licence application forms.

Licensees and hosts have responsibilities under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 to make sure their patrons and guests are kept safe at all times.

Porirua also has a Local Alcohol Policy which describes the licensing of premises for the sale and supply of alcohol.

Important note about filling in the forms

Please ensure your handwriting is clear and legible, especially your email address.  


Special licences are issued for events or occasions. There are two types of licences; 

  • Special On-licence – you can sell alcohol to the public to be consumed on site. 
  • Special Off-licence – you can sell alcohol to the public to be consumed elsewhere and provide tasting samples. 

It is recommended that your application is submitted more than the statutory 20 working days prior to your event(s). If it's within the statutory 20 day time period a letter explaining the reason (e.g. a funeral or late booking confirmation from a hired entertainer) will need to be provided.

What's an event or series of events?

For the purpose of fee calculation one event for a Special Licence is:

  • an occasion or a gathering which takes place without a break or 
  • a series of occasions or gatherings which take place on consecutive days and are the same in appearance, form and substance on all of the days (e.g. a sports tournament or a food and wine show). 

Examples of when a special licence is required

  • Ticketed events where alcohol is provided or sold from a bar; sports events, concert, theatre. 
  • Bus, train, plane (conveyance) where alcohol will be sold or supplied. 
  • Licensed premise where the event isn’t covered by the normal licence (e.g. it finishes outside of the licence hours). 
  • Expos where a manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor or importer of alcohol is taking orders involving the taking of financial details or selling product and providing free samples to attendees. 

Examples when a special licence is not required

  • You use a caterer with an endorsed on-licence for an event. 
  • You're supplying alcohol to your guests in your home. 
  • Your guests are bringing alcohol to your home. 

Special Licence applications

  • If you already have a special licence, describe in your application how it differs from normal trading. 
  • For small events, please attach a Host Responsibility Policy.
  • If you are applying as an individual person, you must be over 20 years of age. 
  • To assist please provide: floor plans, any promotional material, food and/or drink menus or an email confirmation from a caterer (not licensed) that you are using. 
  • For large events, a Host Responsibility Policy and Alcohol Management Plan are required. 
  • Once submitted, Police and Public Health will report on the application (15 working days). 

Complete the following forms:

If you want to sell or supply alcohol for consumption on your premises, you'll need an on-licence.

Examples of premises that need an on-licence to sell or supply alcohol include:

  • restaurant (including BYO) 
  • bar, tavern or nightclub 
  • theatre or cinema 
  • hotel 
  • function centre 
  • winery cellar door 
  • conveyance (i.e. bus, train, plane) 

Alcohol must not be removed from the premise.

There must be a current certified Duty Manager on duty at the premise at all times the premise is open for trade.

Licensee responsibilities

On-licences can be issued for conveyances (buses, trains, planes and sea vessels).

An endorsed on-licence is required for a caterer supply or selling alcohol or a restaurant to be BYO only.

You’ll need to notify public of your application:

  • Within 10 days place a notice in an easily visible place on your premise. 
  • Within 20 days place two public notices in the Kapi-Mana News 

Renewals for on-licences: we advise that the applications are submitted more than the required 20 working days (as stated in the Act). 

It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that the application is submitted more than 20 working days and that the application is completed correctly, as this may cause delays in the process.

If you want to sell or supply alcohol for consumption in the following places, you'll need an off-licence.

  • supermarket 
  • grocery store 
  • bottle store 
  • hotel or tavern that sells alcohol to take away 
  • remote sales premises (online or mail order) 
  • winery cellar door 

Please note, under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, dairies, petrol stations and convenience stores may not sell alcohol. 

Alcohol must be consumed off the premise.

There must be a current certified duty manager available at all times when alcohol is being sold or supplied to the public.

Supermarkets and grocery stores are only able to sell beer and wine to the public.

Auctioneers and remote sellers of alcohol need to have an endorsed licence under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

You’ll need to notify public of your application

  • Within 10 days place a notice in an easily visible place on your premise. 
  • Within 20 days place two public notices in the Kapi-Mana News. 

Renewals for off-licences: we advise that the applications are submitted more than the required 20 working days (as stated in the Act).

It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that the application is submitted more than 20 working days and that the application is completed correctly, as this may cause delays in the process.

Club Licences authorises a club to sell or supply alcohol for consumption on the premise to any:

  • Member 
  • Guests accompanied by a member 
  • Members of affiliated clubs 

Clubs must have an appointed Duty Manager that will be responsible for the conduct of the sale of alcohol under the licence.

The holder of a club licence must take all practicable steps to ensure at all times there’s an appointed secretary of the club. Any changes of the secretary must be notified to our licensing inspectors within 10 days of appointment.

Any profit from the sale of alcohol must belong to the club.

Holders of a club licence must ensure whilst the premise is open for the sale and supply of alcohol, that any alcohol not sold or supplied by the club is not consumed.

A temporary authority allows the new company or natural person to trade using the current base licence for an off or on-licensed premise.

  • These are issued for three months; within this time a new licence must be applied for. 
  • An application should be lodged 15 working days before take-over date. 
  • A sale and purchase agreement, proof of tenure and/or SASOA Certificate of Compliance is required. 
  • A Club cannot be issued a temporary authority. 

Variation of Conditions

The holder of a licence may at any time apply to the licensing committee to vary or cancel any condition of the licence (whether imposed by the licence authority or the committee).

The applicant must comply with the notification requirements in section 101 of the Act.

The Police, Medical Officer of Health and the Licensing Inspector will inquire into the application.

It is a requirement under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 that at all times when alcohol is being sold or supplied to the public a duty manager is responsible for compliance. A duty manager’s certificate authorises the holder to manage any licensed premise.

Requirements for application

  • The minimum age requirement is 20 years of age. 
  • 6 months experience at a licensed premise in the hospitality, grocery or liquor industries. 
  • NZQA standard units 4646 and 16705 through an approved course provider. 
  • Photo ID (Passport, HANZ 18+, Drivers Licence). 
  • Reference from your current employer stating; training, experience and character. 
  • An interview with the Licensing Inspector. 
  • Work Visa issued by Immigration New Zealand (if applicable). 

The first certificate is issued for 12 months a renewed certificate is issued for a 3 year period.

Manager Renewals

  • The Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ) Bridging Test is required for renewals if unit standard 4646 has been issued under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 for applications. 
  • Photo ID (Passport, HANZ 18+, Drivers Licence). 
  • Reference confirming your employment at a licensed premise and your role (regarding the sale and supply of alcohol) within the hospitality, grocery or liquor industry. 
  • Once your renewal has been submitted it will remain current until a decision has been made. 

Note: 

1. Failure to provide evidence of working at a licensed premise may draw opposition from the Licensing Inspector and the Police. You may be required to attend a public hearing to determine if your renewal should be granted.

2. If your manager’s certificate has expired you will need to apply for a new manager’s certificate.

Temporary and Acting Managers

A licensee must give notification to the Licensing Inspectors of appointment, cancellation or termination of any manager, temporary or acting manager ( see section 231 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012).

Temporary Managers

A member of staff can be appointed a temporary manager. This will cease if an application for a manager’s certificate is not submitted within 48 hours.

Acting Manager

An acting manager can be appointed by a licensee for a total of 6 weeks in a calendar year if a manager is ill, absent or on annual leave.

This maximum block is three weeks (21 calendar days) and a current certificate or an application for a manager’s certificate is not required.

Record Keeping by Licensed Premises

All premises under sections 24-26 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 must keep records of all managers for a 2 year period.

Training Course Providers

Here is a list of local industry training providers who can help your staff obtain their manager's certificate.

All licences

Amenity and good order of the locality, means the extent to which, and ways in which, the locality in which the premises concerned are situated is pleasant and agreeable. 

Display of Licence: this must be displayed at all times together with the statement of all conditions subject to which it is issued. This must be attached to the inside of the premise and be easily read by people entering each principal entrance. 

Renewals: That these are submitted before the statutory 20 working days before the expiry date of the licence. That notices to the public of the application are done correctly after it is submitted. 

Promoting Alcohol: It is important that excessive or fast consumption is not encouraged. 

Regular and on-going training to staff. 

On and Club Licences

Non-alcoholic drinks: must be available at all times the premise is open to sell and supply alcohol, there must be a reasonable range and reasonably priced. 

Low alcoholic drinks: must be available at all times premise is open. 

Food to be available: must be available at all times premise is open for sale and supply of alcohol. 

Help with and information about transport to be available: staff to provide assistance and information is readily available. 

Prevent intoxication 

If any changes in your managers at your licensed premises occur, you must notify us.

A good host responsibility policy ensures:

  • that food, non and low alcohol drinks are provided.
  • they serve alcohol with care and responsibility. 
  • have a responsible approach to dealing with intoxicated and underage people. 
  • organise safe transport options. 

Alcohol management plans are required for large events.

The current alcohol licensing applications are as follows:

Reference Applicant Details Licence type Objections close
ALC17/0237 ZARZAR HOLDINGS (The Hungry Tiki) On-Licence (Renewal) 18 January 2018
ALC17/0239 Ruby’s Café On-Licence (Renewal) 18 January 2018
ALC17/0240 Tinker Tailor Brewing Ltd Off-Licence (New) 18 January 2018
ALC17/0242 Meadows Dairy Ltd (trading as Liquorland Porirua) Off-Licence (Renewal) 25 January 2018
ALC17/0245 SP Supermarket Ltd (trading as Whitby New World) Off-Licence (New) 25 January 2018
ALC18/0003 Creative Supermarkets Limited (trading as New World Paremata) Off-Licence (Renewal) 7 February 2018
ALC18/0005 Nirmal 1313 Limited(trading as Whitby Liquor Centre) Off-Licence (Renewal) 7 February 2018

Objecting to a liquor licence

Any person, over the age of 18 may object to the grant or renewal of that licence, subject to certain criteria (see Section 105 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

You'll need to:

  • notify the District Licensing Committee in writing that you wish to object and the reasons why (you must refer to relevant criteria). 
  • make sure to include your full name, address and contact telephone number. 
  • Your objection must be filed with the District Licensing Committee within 15 working days of the first public notice announcing an application has been made. 
Send your letter to:
    Porirua District Licensing Committee
    c/o Porirua City Council
    P O Box 50218
    PORIRUA 5240
      When the District Licensing Committee receives your letter, they will send a copy of the objection to the applicant. 
        If the District Licensing Committee believes that the objection meets the criteria of section 105 of the Act, they will notify all involved parties of a date and time for a hearing.
          You can choose not to attend the hearing, but your objection will have greater effect if you attend the hearing personally and speak in support of your submission. 

          Decisions of the District Licensing Committee

          The District Licensing Committee publishes all decisions using the New Zealand Institute for Legal Information database. You can view decisions on their database.

          The Porirua Licensing Committee is a Committee of Porirua City Council appointed to receive and determine applications in accordance with the licensing committee functions, powers and duties under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

          Members of the committee

          Commissioners

          Appointed commissioners are:

          • Cr John Burke, QSO (Chairperson) 
          • Cr Dale Williams, ONZM (Deputy Chairperson) 

          List Members

          Appointed list members are elected until December 2017:

          • Morris Cheer 
          • Saar Cohen-Ronen 
          • Ruth de Villiers 
          • Nicole Moloney 
          • Michael Neilson 
          • Rachel Palu 
          • Asha Prasad 
          • Kevin Watson 
          • Sandy Gill 

          In addition to the chairperson and two listed DLC members form a quorum for a DLC meeting. The deputy chairperson will act as the chairperson if the chairperson is unavailable.