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Special Licences - Summer Events

29 Oct 2013, 10:23 AM

If you’re holding an event this summer that will need a special licence, make sure to plan ahead and apply as soon as possible.

From 18 December 2013, the process for getting a special licence will change when the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 comes fully into force.

In the past, people have often left it late to apply for a special licence, something that was allowed under the old Sale of Liquor Act.

Under the new law, all applications must be made at least 20 working days before the event is held (although exceptions can be made for unforeseen events, such as funerals). In particular, applications for special licences for events planned for mid-February 2014 or earlier must be lodged by 18 December 2013. That’s because under the new Act (and the previous Sale of Liquor Act 1989), a 'working day' does not include weekends, statutory holidays or any day from 20 December and 15 January (inclusive).

The primary reason for this extra time is because additional criteria must now be considered, such as how the proposed event will impact the good order and amenity of an area, any Local Alcohol Policy and the design and layout of the area for the proposed event. There are also longer time frames for the Police to report and now the Area Health Board is required to report on special licence applications.

It is also important to note that all the fees (yet to be finalised in the regulations) will increase significantly for all applications filed after 18 December. If you have any queries please contact WDC on 0800 932 4357 or email [email protected]