Apply for a special licence

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 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.

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

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).

Apply for a Special Licence

  • Complete the Special Licence Application Form (pdf) or use this Word form.
  • If you already have a licence, describe how it differs from normal trading.
  • 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).
  • Alcohol Licensing Fees.

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’ events 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.