Apply for a Licence or Manager's Certificate

We're changing!

All applications require a pre-lodgment appointment with the Alcohol Licensing Inspectors. To book, please email PLI@poriruacity.govt.nz

We will be changing our application forms at the end of 2022 for all types of licences and certificates. Please ensure you are using the correct and most up-to-date application form to avoid delays.

Apply for, or renew, a licence

Applying for a licence is a very comprehensive process as under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 there are several considerations our district licensing committee (DLC) has to make when assessing an application for a licence.

In deciding whether to issue a licence, the DLC must have regard to the following matters:

  • The object of the Act
  • The suitability of the applicant
  • Any relevant local alcohol policy
  • The days and hours the premises is open
  • The design and layout of the premises
  • Whether the applicant proposes to engage in the sale of goods or services other than alcohol, low-alcohol/non-alcoholic refreshments and food
  • The amenity and good order of the locality
  • Whether the applicant has appropriate systems, staff, and training guidelines to comply with the law
  • Any matters dealt with in any report from the Police, an inspector, or a Medical Officer of Health.

Host responsibility

Your host responsibility policy is a condition of your licence. Host responsibility means creating a responsible drinking environment and looking out for your customers while they are on your premises. Porirua City Council is serious about host responsibility and keeping customers safe in the community.

You must satisfy the Council’s District Licensing Committee, the inspector, the Police and the Medical Officer of Health that you have practical measures in place to prevent problems with intoxication, unruly behaviour and minors. You should also be familiar with the guidelines around what is considered acceptable or unacceptable advertising, promotions, activities and events involving alcohol.

Below are some guidelines on how to create your host responsibility policy as well as a template of what could be included:

An on-licence allows for the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises. Examples of on-licence premises include:

  • Bar, pub, tavern or nightclub
  • Restaurant or club (note: an endorsement is needed to allow a ‘bring your own’ (BYO) alcohol function)
  • Theatre or cinema
  • Hotel
  • Caterer
  • Conveyance (e.g., boat, bus, plane, train etc).

Public notices

You will need to notify the public of your application in two places:

  • Physically placed in an easily visible place on your premises within 10 working days of application submission; and
  • Electronically or physically posted once or twice in the Kapi-Mana News (depending on your premises risk level) within 20 working days of application submission.

National trading days and Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) trading hours are explained further on our website.

Premises Certificate of Compliance (Alcohol)

All licensed premises must have a current Premises Certificate of Compliance (Alcohol Compliance Certificate) under section 100(f) of the Act. This certifies that the proposed use of the premises (for an alcohol licence) will meet the requirements of the Building Code and Resource Management Act 1991 and includes any building, planning or environmental health requirements. The application form for the Compliance Certificate is attached in your licence application.

You need to apply for a Premises Certificate if:

  • You are buying an existing building (i.e., a change of ownership) which is licenced with no changes to the alcohol licence conditions; or
  • You are making changes to existing licenced conditions, such as changing the hours, footprint area, or type of alcohol licence, (whether as a new owner or the existing licensee); or
  • You are opening a new licenced premises that has never been licensed before on that site.

Bring Your Own (BYO) information

Any applicant of an on-licence can ask for the licence to be endorsed (under section 37) to allow BYO (Bring Your Own) alcohol. It is important to manage BYO in your restaurant effectively so that you comply with your licence and with the Act, and to ensure your customers enjoy your hospitality in the best way possible.

The following ideas can help you put systems in place to manage BYO at your restaurant:

  • Consider what types of alcohol and how much alcohol you will allow as BYO in your restaurant. It is also important your customers know what your limits for BYO are. You can do this in your host responsibility policy or by creating a BYO policy.
  • Your host responsibility policy should reflect your BYO policy and inform your customers about how much the BYO aspect costs and what things you consider are reasonable to ensure you comply with the Act and ensure the safety of your customers.
  • Consider having a BYO policy as well as a host responsibility policy if you are a large restaurant that often has people bringing BYO for large groups. A BYO policy contains more specific BYO information and could include:
    • how much and what alcohol you allow
    • alcohol vessels to arrive unopened
    • how much food you expect BYO customer to order and consume
    • information about liquor ban areas in the neighbourhood
  • Make sure you and your staff are familiar with your host responsibility policy and have appropriate training to implement your policy. Further information about staff training and useful training courses can be found at system, staff and training guidelines.
  • Provide a safe drinking environment. To be successful, and for people to want to come back, customers need to feel safe. Consider setting expectations about how people behave in your restaurant (your host responsibility or BYO policy can help you do this) and train staff to monitor customers and know when to intervene to prevent intoxication.
  • Consider informing your customers when they book a table about your BYO conditions. You could also email them about it in their booking confirmation.
  • Consider engaging with your customers at their table throughout the night. This will give you a good idea of what is happening in your restaurant and how much alcohol your customers are drinking.

Renewing your licence

It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that the application is submitted before the licence expiry date and that the renewal application is completed correctly, as errors may cause delays in the process. We strongly recommend that renewal applications are submitted more the 20 working days before the expiry of the licence.

Below are the application forms:

An off-licence allows the sale, supply or delivery of alcohol for consumption elsewhere off the premises. Examples of off-licence premises include:

  • Bottle store
  • Supermarket or grocery store
  • Remote sales (eg for online sales)

Public notices

You will need to notify the public of your application in two places:

  • Physically placed in an easily visible place on your premises within 10 working days of application submission; and
  • Electronically or physically posted once or twice in the Kapi-Mana News (depending on your premises risk level) within 20 working days of application submission.

National trading days and Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) trading hours are explained further on our website.

Premises Certificate of Compliance (Alcohol)

All licensed premises must have a current Premises Certificate of Compliance (Alcohol Compliance Certificate) under section 100(f) of the Act. This certifies that the proposed use of the premises (for an alcohol licence) will meet the requirements of the Building Code and Resource Management Act 1991 and includes any building, planning or environmental health requirements. The application form for the Compliance Certificate is attached in your licence application.

You need to apply for a Premises Certificate if:

  • You are buying an existing building (i.e., a change of ownership) which is licenced with no changes to the alcohol licence conditions; or
  • You are making changes to existing licenced conditions, such as changing the hours, footprint area, or type of alcohol licence, (whether as a new owner or the existing licensee); or
  • You are opening a new licenced premises that has never been licensed before on that site.

Remote sales information

Under section 40 the Act, a "general off-licence remote seller" must comply with all requirements outlined in the Act. In addition, an "off-licence remote seller endorsed under section 40" has several other conditions that differ from a general off-licence remote seller which include:

  • Alcohol sold must be delivered to somewhere else (i.e., alcohol cannot be purchased on site)
  • A manager must be appointed, however, they do not have to be on duty at all times
  • The endorsement allows for the exemption of the premises to display the regular signage requirements for hours of the business and the display of licence at the physical premises to which the licence is issued
  • The promotion or advertisement of discounts on alcohol in a way that leads people, or likely to lead people, to believe that the price is 25% or more below the price at which alcohol is ordinarily sold otherwise is prohibited.

New requirements for selling alcohol using the internet, telephone or mail order, came into force in December 2013. These requirements apply to both premises that hold an "off-licence remote seller endorsed under section 40" and a "general off-licence remote seller" who also has a website or catalogue. Licensees must take reasonable steps (a minimum two steps) to ensure that the person purchasing the alcohol is over the legal purchasing age. Below are three suggestions on how this can be achieved:

  • Via internet: Ask the buyer to tick an on screen box declaring that they are above the legal purchasing age when they first enter the website, and ask the buyer to tick an on screen box declaring that they are above the legal purchasing age immediately before the sale of any alcohol is completed.
  • Via phone: Ask the buyer to declare orally that they are over the purchasing age when the conversation begins and ask the buyer to declare orally that they are over the purchasing age immediately before the sale is completed.
  • Via mail: Ensure that there is two requests (tick boxes) on the form that requires the buyer to declare that they are over the legal purchasing age, once at the beginning of the form, and again immediately before the buyer completes the order form with their signature.

The Health Promotion Agency provides National guidance on Remote sales of alcohol.

Renewing your licence

It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that the application is submitted before the licence expiry date and that the renewal application is completed correctly, as errors may cause delays in the process. We strongly recommend that renewal applications are submitted more the 20 working days before the expiry of the licence.

Below are the application forms:

A club licence allows the sale or supply of alcohol on the premises to club members, their guests and members of other clubs with equivalent visiting rights. Examples of club licence premises include:

  • Sports club
  • Social club
  • Returned Services Association (RSA)

National trading days and Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) trading hours are explained further on our website.

Premises Certificate of Compliance (Alcohol)

All licensed premises must have a current Premises Certificate of Compliance (Alcohol Compliance Certificate) under section 100(f) of the Act. This certifies that the proposed use of the premises (for an alcohol licence) will meet the requirements of the Building Code and Resource Management Act 1991 and includes any building, planning or environmental health requirements. The application form for the Compliance Certificate is attached in your licence application.

You need to apply for a Premises Certificate if:

  • You are buying an existing building (i.e., a change of ownership) which is licenced with no changes to the alcohol licence conditions; or
  • You are making changes to existing licenced conditions, such as changing the hours, footprint area, or type of alcohol licence, (whether as a new owner or the existing licensee); or
  • You are opening a new licenced premises that has never been licensed before on that site.

Renewing your licence

It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that the application is submitted before the licence expiry date and that the renewal application is completed correctly, as errors may cause delays in the process. We strongly recommend that renewal applications are submitted more the 20 working days before the expiry of the licence.

Below is the application form:

A special licence allows for the sale or supply of alcohol on a premises for the duration of a specific occasion or event. A special licence can also be issued to an on-licence or club licence for an event not covered by their licence. Examples of events that may require a special licence are:

  • Sports event
  • Concert, show or festival
  • Street party
  • Private function (eg birthday party, wedding etc)

Short notice applications

Special licence applications must be lodged at least 20 working days before the date of the event, otherwise they may not be accepted by the DLC for consideration.

Short notice (late) applications that are made less than 20 working days before the event date must be accompanied by a letter explaining the reason for its lateness. The DLC will make a decision on whether your late application can be accepted for assessment based on the reason you have provided.

Application deadlines and non-working days may also impact timelines for special licence application. Over summer, this is our busiest time for processing all type of applications, but especially special licences. Please be aware of this when thinking about applying for a special licence.

National trading days and Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) trading hours are explained further on our website.

Fundraising activities and alcohol as a prize

If you are planning on having a raffle, sweepstake, bingo, prize competition, a game of chance, or an instant game like scratch and win, note that alcohol is prohibited as a prize. These activities are regarded as Gambling Activities. Porirua Council’s Gaming Policy outlines this further and the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) provides a Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) provides a factsheet for the various types of activities and promotion guidelines. Any questions about these types of activities should be directed to the DIA.

Below are the application forms:

A temporary authority to operate a premise can be obtained for an existing premise that currently has an on-licence or off-licence if the premises has been sold. It is not available for club licences or unlicensed premises. If you purchase an existing licensed business and wish to continue selling alcohol, you may apply for a temporary authority to operate until your own licence has been granted.

Conditions of a temporary authority include:

  • The temporary authority is valid for a maximum period of three months and will only be issued if the existing licence for the premises is still valid.
  • If you are operating under a temporary authority, you cannot make changes/operate differently until your new alcohol licence has been issued.
  • A temporary authority is not a means of avoiding a licence application, and the District Licensing Committee may decline subsequent temporary authorities if no progress is made in obtaining your new licence.

National trading days and Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) trading hours are explained further on our website.

Below is the application form:

Variations to alcohol licences

It is important you have the correct alcohol licence that suits the style of your business. If you want to change a condition of your existing licence before your next renewal, you can apply for a "variation of conditions" application for your licence.

You will need to apply for a variation to the conditions of your licence if you are wanting to:

  • Extend your trading hours
  • Increase or decrease the size of your licensed area or layout
  • Establish an outdoor area
  • Change the general nature of your business.

You will need:

  • Submit your completed application form
  • Provide a copy of your new planning and building certificates (if required)
  • Provide any information that may be different to the information provided with the original application
  • A copy of your existing licence.

Below are the application forms:

Licence conditions

All licences have conditions relating to the sale and supply of alcohol, as well as other matters relating to the operation of the premises. These will be listed on your licence and the decision given to you. A licence is issued to an individual person, partnership, company or legal entity for a specific premises for specific trading days and hours. A licence cannot be transferred to another person or location. Failure to comply with the conditions of a licence can lead to action being taken by the regulatory agencies and may ultimately lead to fines and/or loss of the licence.

Apply for, or renew, a manager's certificate

It is a requirement under section 214 of 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 premises.

Notice must be given to the DLC on any appointment, or the cancellation or termination of the appointment, of any manager, temporary manager or acting manager.

There are several conditions that must be met in order for someone to obtain their manager’s certificate:

  • They must hold a prescribed qualification as identified under section 218 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. There are currently two accepted forms of the qualification:
    • Attend and pass the Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ) or provide proof from your training provider that you have successfully completed New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) unit standards 4646 (demonstrate knowledge of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012) and 16705 (demonstrate knowledge of host responsibility requirements as a duty manager of licensed premises).
    • Provide evidence you have held an LCQ under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 and after December 2013, have completed the LCQ Bridging Test (note the bridging test was available until December 2016).
  • They must have a minimum of six months relevant experience in the hospitality industry working at a licenced premise.
  • They must have a written reference from your current employer outlining your training, experience and character working in a licenced premise.
  • They must have 20 years of age or older.
  • They must have eligible to work in New Zealand. If you are not an NZ citizen or permanent resident, you must hold the appropriate visa.
  • They must provide photo identification (Passport, Kiwi Access card (previously HANZ 18+ card) or NZ drivers licence).
  • They must have had an interview with the Licensing Inspector.

Below is the application form:

Is it recommended you apply for your manager's certificate renewal 20 working days before it expires. You can continue performing your manager duties after its expires as long as you have submitted your renewal application form.

Your manager’s certificate cannot be renewed after it has expired. If your certificate expires, you will need to apply for a new one and your application will be dealt with as a new application.

If you have received a conviction since your manager’s certificate was last renewed or issued, the Alcohol Licensing Inspector and Police may shorten the renewal period and/or a suspend your licence.

As well as having met the new manager's conditions, to renew you manager’s certificate, you must be:

  • Currently working at a licensed premise; or
  • About to start work at a licensed premise.

Below is the application form:

Manager’s Certificate application form RENEWAL

Notifying requirements for management changes

Section 231 of the Act states that: Licensees are to notify the District Licensing Committee (DLC) and Police of:

  • Any appointment of a new certificated manager
  • Cancellation/termination of a certificated manager
  • The appointment of a temporary manager or an acting manager.

The DLC may, within five working days after receiving a notice of the management change, notify the licensee that it does not approve of the appointment and that person can no longer appear as the manager. Below are the reasons and occasions when you can use a person without a manager's certificate.

Temporary managers

Under section 229 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, if a certified manager is ill, absent, dismissed or resigns, the premises licensee can appoint a temporary manager. The temporary manager does not need to hold a current manager’s certificate but does need to apply for their manager’s certificate within two working days of their appointment as temporary manager.

The temporary manager’s status will remain in effect until their application has been considered. If their application is not lodged within two working days, or their application is refused, the premise licensee must stop using that person as a manager.

Under section 231 of the Act, the premise licensee must give notice of the appointment, cancellation or termination of the appointment of any temporary manager.

Acting managers

Under section 230 of the Act, acting managers can be appointed to cover planned or unplanned leave, or if a manager is ill or absent. The premises' licensee may appoint an acting manager for no more than three weeks at any one time, or a period of no more than six weeks in any 12-month period. This person does not need to apply for a manager’s certificate (differing from a temporary manager).

Below is the application form:

Notice of management change form

Alcohol licensing fees

Type of licensed premises

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Latest trading hour allowed by licence

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Number of enforcement holdings in the last 18 months

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Fee based on total weighting

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Class definitions

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Enforcements

"Enforcement" has the same meaning as a "holding" under section 288 of the Act.

Sections 289 and 290 apply to finding(s) of the licensing authority that a person who is a licensee or a manager of any licensed premises has:

  • Encouraged excessive consumption
  • Held/had on the premises promotion/advertising of discounts of more than 25% that could be seen/heard from outside premises
  • Promoted/advertised alcohol free of charge, other than complimentary samples or by promotion/advertisement within licensed premises that could not be seen from outside the premises
  • Offered goods/services/opportunity to win a prize on condition alcohol was bought (other than offer only on licensed premises and only in relation to buying alcohol on those premises)
  • Promoted competition that required/enabled entry by alcohol purchase, other than offering (on licensed premises) goods/services/opportunity to obtain/win prize or by stocking/displaying/selling alcohol concerned
  • Promoted/advertised in a manner that had/likely to have special appeal to minors
  • Sold/supplied to a minor
  • Allowed alcohol to be sold/supplied to a minor
  • Unauthorised sale/supply
  • Sale to an intoxicated person.