Alcohol Licences



There are four types of alcohol licence available:

  • On-licence
  • Off-licence
  • Club Licence
  • Special Licence

Contact the Licensing Officers to discuss anything relating to the sale of alcohol, phone (03) 440 0615 or (03) 440 0658.



The process for each application is generally:

  • Submit a completed application to the District Licensing Committee (at Council). You must ensure your application is complete, using the relevant check sheet in the application pack.
  • Publicly notify your application in a local paper or indicate on the application form that you wish the application to be notified through the Council website.
  • Display a notice in a conspicuous place on or adjacent to the site the application refers to.
  • The District Licensing Committee (DLC) Secretary will forward a copy of your application to the Police, Medical Officer of Health and Licensing Inspector, who are required under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act to inquire into the application.
  • If the Police or Medical Officer of Health have any matters in opposition to the application, they must file a report on it within 15 working days. Copies of their reports will be sent to you.
  • The licensing inspector will provide a report to the DLC on the application.
  • Any person with a greater interest in the application than the public generally may object to your application within 15 working days of the first publication of the public notice. If any are received, these will be forwarded to you.
  • If the Police or Medical Officer of Health raise matters in opposition to your application or objections are received, the application will be considered at a public hearing.
  • If no opposition on objections are received the application will be heard on the papers by the DLC.

View the Health Promotion ​​Agency flowchart​, which may provide additional clarification around this process.


Kinds of Licence

CODC does not currently have a Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) in place to set local parameters for licences to be approved within the district. Therefore the default position is that the national maximum trading hours are identified for the various types of licences by the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act. 



For bars (hotel, tavern), restaurants and cafes, BYO restaurants and caterers i.e. anywhere that sells alcohol for consumption on the premises.

All on-licences need to ensure food is available at all times when alcohol is offered for sale.

The national maximum trading hours are 8am until 4am the following day.




For bottles stores, grocery stores, supermarkets, cellar doors and internet sales, this type of licence is where alcohol is sold with the intention that it is taken away to be consumed off the premises.

The national maximum trading hours are 7am until 11pm.



Club Licence 

 A Club Licence allows you to:

  • Sell or supply alcohol for consumption on a club premises.
  • Sell or supply alcohol to club members, their guest, and members of clubs with reciprocal visiting rights.

The national maximum trading hours are 8am until 4am the following day.


Special Licence 

This is needed where:

  • An event is being held in a place that is not licensed e.g. a park or community hall


  • The event will run outside the licensed premises current hours or conditions.

There are two types of special licence:

If the alcohol is to be consumed at the place it is sold (for example, at a social event) then you should apply for a special licence. If the alcohol is to be sold and taken away for consumption (for example at a wine festival) then you should apply for an off-site special licence.

All applications must be made at least 20 working days prior to the event.

Where an application is filed with less than 20 working days prior to the event, the District Licensing Committee may consider the application only if it is satisfied that the need for a special licence could not have been reasonably foreseen earlier.

Form: Application for Special Licence


Temporary Authority ​

You must apply for a Temporary Authority to sell or supply alcohol if you are buying or leasing a licenced premises. A temporary authority has a three-month term, and allows you to sell alcohol under the previous owner's licence.

The purpose of a Temporary Authority is to give you the opportunity to take over a business and operate it while you make application for licences in your own name.

Form: Application for Temporary Authority


Amenity and Good Order

All licence applications (including Special Licences) must demonstrate how the amenity and good order of the locality would not be reduced by 'more than minor' if the licence was granted.

This includes aspects such as:

  • Current noise or possible future noise levels;
  • Current or possible nuisance and vandalism;
  • Rubbish generated from the premises;
  • Location to sensitive sites such as churches, educational facilities, etc.

The DLC must in considering an application, also have regard to:

  • The number of premises for which licences of the kind applied for are already in the area;
  • The purpose for which land near the premises concerned are used;
  • The purpose for which those premises will be used if the licence is issued.
Page reviewed: 18 Jul 2019 11:15am