Alcohol Licensing

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Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, from 18 December 2013, a new system for considering alcohol licensing applications takes place.

District Licensing Committee

All decisions on alcohol licences and manager's certificates (opposed and unopposed) will be made by the Stratford District Licensing Committee.

The committee has more powers than the former district licensing agency did for considering the effect of alcohol activity in our community.

The DLC will be made up of:

Commissioner -  Alex Matheson

Deputy Chairman - Mayor Neil Volzke

Barrie Smith

Channa Perry

John Rowe

Lynn Bublitz

Paul Walden

Peter Coles

Peter Stringer

A copy of the Act can be accessed here.

The District Licensing Committee Policy can be accessed here.

The Annual Report of the Stratford District Licensing Committee for 2015/2016 can be accessed here.

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. So if you are planning a party, opening a bar or anything in between, find out first if you need a licence.

Types Of Licences

The type of activity or business you plan will determine the type of liquor licence you will need.  Applying for an alcohol licence can be a complex task.  Below are some examples:

On Licences

On licences allow for the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises. This includes taverns, bars, hotels, cafes, restaurants and other entertainment venues.

Off Licences

Off licences allow for the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption off the premises. This includes bottle stores and supermarkets.

Club Licences

Club licences allow for the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption on the club premises to members of the club, their guests and members of clubs with reciprocal visiting rights.

Special Licences

Special licences allow for the sale and supply of alcohol to anyone attending an event. This can include a private function, street party or sporting event. A special licence can also be issued to an on-licence or club-licence for an event not covered in their on licence or club licence.

Managers Certificates

A person may not be appointed as a manager of any licensed premises, unless the person is of or over the age of 20, and holds a manager's certificate.  A Manager's certificate can not be issued unless the applicant holds the prescribed qualification.

Click here for all related forms.

Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

A licence application will be considered by the following criteria:

Object of the Act

     (1) The object of this Act is that—

               (a) the sale, supply, and consumption of alcohol should be undertaken safely and responsibly; and

               (b) the harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol should be minimised.

     (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol includes—

               (a) any crime, damage, death, disease, disorderly behaviour, illness, or injury, directly or indirectly caused, or directly or indirectly contributed to, by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol; and

               (b) any harm to society generally or the community, directly or indirectly caused, or directly or indirectly contributed to, by any crime, damage, death, disease, disorderly behaviour, illness, or injury of a kind described in paragraph (a).

The suitability of the applicant

Suitability of an applicant may take into account: business or industry knowledge to effectively operate a licensed premises; recent experience in the industry; criminal history, or previous behaviour relating to the sale of alcohol.

The days and hours of sale

Default maximum trading hours are provided in the Act. They are:

     • between 8am on any day and 4am on the next day for on-licence and club premises
     • between 7am and 11pm on any day for off-licences.

Any Local Alcohol Policy

The joint New Plymouth District Council and Stratford District Council Local Alcohol Policy has recently been adopted. The majority of the policy will not come into effect until 28 February 2017 with full implementation in May 2017. A copy of the Local Alcohol Policy can be found here.

The Design and layout of premises

Good design and layout can help reduce alcohol-related harm through providing less crowding, increased safety and security and a better quality of environment. The 'Guidelines for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) for licensed premises' issued in June 2012 by ALAC provide practical advice on design and layout. This document can be accessed here.

 Whether amenity and good order of the area would be substantially reduced

The Act specifies that in deciding whether amenity and good order would be reduced by more than a minor extent, the following must be taken into account:

     • current, and possible future, levels of noise, nuisance and vandalism
     • the number of other licensed premises in the area
     • compatibility with the current and future use of surrounding properties.

If the issuing of a licence could create disturbances or inconvenience, or the premises are not likely to in harmony with the environment, this may affect the granting of a licence or may be grounds for objection.

Whether the applicant has systems, staff and training to comply with the law

This requires effective systems and staff training – firstly in identifying and understanding what the requirements are, and secondly establishing and learning effective ways of dealing with situations that could breach licence conditions and lead to an increase in alcohol related harm. Relevant considerations could be the number and experience of managers and staff as well as the amount of training provided.

Further information on the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, is available here.

Stratford District Council Alcohol Control Bylaw

The Stratford District Council alcohol control bylaw covers:

     • Acts prohibited in specified public places
     • Exceptions to prohibition for residents, their visitors and licensed premises
     • Temporary control for specific events/functions
     • Powers of arrest, search and seizure
     • Stratford District Alcohol Ban Area

The Bylaw can be accessed here.

How to obtain an Alcohol Licence

Meet with the Licensing Inspector, explain your plans and discuss any issues prior to making your application for an alcohol licence. Contact us here to make an appointment.

Things to also consider: If you plan on selling or supplying alcohol to the public, you will need to consider planning, building and environmental health issues and any other rules specific to your area.

Alcohol Licensing Fees

Fees are set out in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol ( Fees) Regulations 2013.

What the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act means for the under-18s

There are also changes that will affect under-18's. Those changes can be found in What the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act means for the under-18s

Object to an Application

If you want to object to an alcohol licence application, you must be in a position of 'greater interest' than the general public.

You have 'greater interest' if you are likely to be more affected by the licence than most other people. For example, if you live in the same street as the proposed licensed premises you could be in a position of greater interest, compared with someone who lives 10km away and has general concerns about the effects of alcohol on the community. The Objection to an Application document will give you more information should you wish to make an objection to an application.

A copy of the Objection to an Application for an Alcohol Licence form can be found here.

Further information can also be found in the booklet Have Your Say About Alcohol in Your Community.

Alcohol Promotion

There are strict rules governing the promotion and advertising of alcohol. Information about these can be found here

Useful Links

Health Promotion Agency
Alcohol and Drug Helpline - 0800 787 797
New Zealand Police
Ministry of Justice