Liquor Licensing – getting it right

November 5, 2013

in Corporate & Business

Corporate & BusinessLiquor licensing requirements have been amended under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.  The object and purpose of the new Act is to ensure that there is a new system of control over the sale and supply of alcohol and to ensure that there is a reduction in the risks to the community as a result of the overconsumption of alcohol.

You need to meet strict criteria in order to apply for a liquor licence, particularly an “on licence” which allows you to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises.  You will need to establish you meet certain criteria such as;

  • Your suitability to hold a licence
  • The steps you will take to ensure you meet the requirements of the law surrounding safe and sensible alcohol sale and control in the area
  • That you have appropriate training and systems in place for staff to ensure they and your establishment comply with legal requirements;
  • Trading days and hours

If you are made aware of an application for a liquor licence in your area then you are entitled to lodge a formal objection to the application, which will result in the matter  being referred to the NZ Liquor Licensing Authority for a hearing.  It is important to ensure that you meet the status requirements for lodging an objection, by establishing that you have a greater interest in the application than the general public.  If your objection meets the requirements then you are entitled to be heard at the hearing and have a lawyer represent you, present evidence and cross examine any witnesses that may attend.

There are numerous grounds upon which you can object to liquor licensing in your area which include;

  • Relevant local alcohol policy;
  • Layout and design of the proposed premises;
  • Suitability of the applicant;
  • Impact on the local area.

To ensure that the relevant Licensing Authorities take your application or objections seriously it is important that you get the process right from the outset and comply with the strict requirements for publication of notices and timeframes for lodging objections.  It is therefore crucial you seek legal advice at the earliest stage.

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Kirsten Maclean

(03) 477 8870 or (09) 379 0055


The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only.  It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. 

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