Special Licence

A special licence is required if a member of the public wishes to hold a function where alcohol will be sold. A special licence is also required for sports clubs and other clubs who hold a club licence, but intend to hold an event such as a 21st birthday party, wedding etc.

Holders of on licences wishing to extend their hours and/or licensed area in order to host an event or function also require a special licence.

When is a Special Licence Needed?

If you are holding an event where alcohol will be provided and guests pay for the alcohol either by purchasing or ordering from a bar, by a ticket system, or where the cost of the alcohol is included in the price of admission, then a Special Licence is required.

The  Council will do their best to get your licence application processed in time for your event. Please be aware however that the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act stipulates at least 20 working days are required in order for the Licencing Committee to source reports from Police and the Medical Officer of Health.

Required Information

  • A copy of the certificate of incorporation (if applicable)
  • A written statement from the owner of the premises to the effect that they do not have any objection to the issue of a licence
  • Copy of floor plans or site plan (to scale) showing each area to be designated as a supervised or restricted area, and the principal entrance.
  • Copies of any relevant publicity material related to the applicant and/or event
  • For large events:
    • A map showing the location of nearby 'sensitive' locations, e.g. schools, early childhood facilities, hospitals, churches, etc.
    • An Alcohol Management Plan stating how the applicant proposes to minimise risk to the community. For example: managing noise, live music, consideration for neighbours, safe transport options available, etc.

Apply for Special Licence

  • Download and complete the special licence application form
  • Send your completed application, including all the required information and fee to:The Secretary
    Waimakariri District Licensing Committee
    Private Bag 1005
    Rangiora 7440

Alternatively email your application to alcohol@wmk.govt.nz and a reference number will be forwarded to you to quote when making payment.

Methods of Payment

Accepted methods of payment are either by cash, eftpos or internet banking. If you want to pay your application fee by internet banking please email in your completed application to alcohol@wmk.govt.nz. Council staff will contact you by email with a reference number for payment. Processing of your application will commence once payment has been received.

Apply Early for a Special Licence

The process for getting a special licence changed when the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 came into force. In the past, people have often left it late to apply for a special licence, something that was allowed under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. 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). Under the Act, a 'working day' does not include weekends, statutory holidays or any day between 20 December and 15 January, inclusive. On that basis, we highly recommend you apply for your special licence giving as much notice as possible.

Process and Timeline

Once your application has been received with the appropriate fee, a Licensing Inspector will be in touch with you to discuss and go through your application. Police and/or the Medical Officer of Health may also be in touch. A large focus in relation to this process is to ensure any potential for alcohol related harm at or near event, is identified and mitigated. Once reports from the police and Medical Officer of Health are received a comprehensive report will be prepared by the Council Licensing Inspector. This will be presented, along with your application and associated documentation, to the District Licensing Committee. Council staff will then advise you of the result of your application. In general, for straightforward applications, this process takes approximately 3-4 weeks. For large events it is recommended that as much time as possible is given in order for the necessary reports and enquiries to be completed.

One of the most common causes where delays are experienced, are applications where all the required documentation has not been included. Please tick off the checklist when you submit your application.

Last reviewed date: 24 Jul 2024