Alcohol Licensing

To ensure that the sale and supply of alcohol takes place responsibly, it is a legal requirement under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 that you have a licence before you can sell or supply alcohol. 

Types of Licence

To sell or supply alcohol either as a business, club or at a special event, you must apply for the appropriate licence.

There are four types of alcohol licence:

  • On Licence (e.g. pub, restaurant, cafe, bar)
  • Off Licence (e.g. bottle store, supermarket)
  • Club Licence (e.g. sports club, Returned Services Association)
  • Special Licence (e.g. events and functions)

An On Licence, Off Licence, or Club Licence is granted initially for one year and then can be renewed every three years.

Special Licences are granted per event or for a series of similar events.

A separate application must be submitted for each type of licence, along with a non-refundable fee and requirements for specific additional documentation. On, Off, and Club licences are also subject to an annual fee on their anniversary.

If you are taking over an existing licensed premises that already has a licence you will need to apply for a Temporary Authority to cover you while you're waiting for your new licence to be issued.

What does an Alcohol Licence Allow?

An Alcohol Licence allows the licensee to sell alcohol according to the conditions of the licence.

Conditions of a licence cover such things as:

  • Who alcohol can be sold to
  • The hours and days alcohol can be sold
  • Who is allowed on the premises
  • The range of food, non-alcohol and low-alcohol drinks to be provided; and
  • Provision of information about alternative transport arrangements

It is against the law for a licensee or their staff to sell alcohol to anyone who is intoxicated, to allow a person to become intoxicated, or service alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 years.  There are heavy penalties for these offences.

Manager’s Certificate

If you are the duty manager it is your job to make sure the premises comply with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 and the conditions of the alcohol licence.

A manager’s certificate authorises you to manage any licensed premises such as an on-licence, off-licence, club licence or special licence.

A pre-requisite to hold a manager's certificate is that you hold the Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ).


The fees for licences and certificates are set under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Fees) Regulations 2013 and vary depending on the type of licence or certificate being sought.

Waitomo District Licensing Committee

The Waitomo District Licensing Committee is an independent committee whose role is to determine all licence and managers certificate applications and respective renewal applications within the Waitomo District.

Licensing Committee Decisions

Under Section 211(5) of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 copies of all decisions of the Licensing Committee must be made available to the public.

For more information please contact Council’s Customer Service Centre.