Alcohol Licensing

​Alcohol licensing encompasses a host of areas, from restaurants and eating houses that serve alcohol to community groups wanting to hold an event. All alcohol licensing is processed by the Environmental Health Section at Council. For more information please contact the Senior Environmental Health Officer.

District Liquor Ban
Bylaw Types of Licences
Manager's Certificate
Temporary and Acting Authority
Reporting Agencies
Objections to application for licences
Host Responsibility

District Alcohol Ban Bylaw

A Liquor Ban is in place in the Tokoroa Central Business District. You may not consume or posses alcohol in a public place in the prohibited area. This ban is applicable from 7:00pm to 7:00am the following morning on the days listed below:

  • Every Friday and Saturday night.
  • The nights of the statutory holidays of Christmas and New Year from 24 December to 2 January.
  • The nights of Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Easter Weekend.
  • The nights of Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Labour Weekend.

The Police are responsible for enforcing this Bylaw and can be contacted on (07) 886 5189. Click here for the map of the prohibited areas.


Council permits licensed premises to serve alcohol to patrons seated at tables on the footpath adjacent to their business.

Only vehicles that are transporting alcohol for licensed premises are permitted to deliver to the shop frontage. The delivery must be removed promptly from the public place.


Anybody who disregards the bylaw is liable for a fine not exceeding $500 and may be arrested by the Police. Following a verbal warning, Police may search vehicles and containers in the possession of a person in, entering, or about to enter the prohibited area.

Types of Licences

There are four types of licences that control the sale and supply of alcohol from various premises. These are listed below:

On Licence
Authorises the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises or conveyances (eg, restaurant, hotel, tavern, plane, boat).

Off Licence
Authorises the sale or delivery of alcohol for consumption off the premises (eg, bottle store, supermarket, gift basket shop).

Club Licence
Authorises the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises to members of the club and their guests, and members of other clubs who hold reciprocal visiting rights. For more information go to the "Club Licence" page.

Special Licence
Authorises the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises to any person attending any occasion or event (eg, a sporting event, bus trip, a party on hired premises where alcohol is being sold, where tickets are being sold, or an event where alcohol is being supplied).

All applications for a licence require the appropriate form to be completed. These are found here; and are also available from the South Waikato District Council Offices in Putaruru or Tokoroa.

Manager's Certificate

The Act requires all premises to have a certified manager on duty at all times alcohol is sold or supplied.

Every application is required to be accompanied by the following:

  • The original and a photocopy of the application and supporting documents.
  • Evidence of previous experience in managing licensed premises.
  • Evidence of relevant training or qualifications.
  • Evidence from the licensed premise supporting the application, if the applicant intends to be a manager of a particular licensed premise or club.
  • Two character references from someone able to verify to the applicant's suitability to hold a Manager's Certificate (Please provide references that can be contacted).
  • One form of identification this can be either of the following:
  • If you are a New Zealand or Australian Citizen please provide a copy of your birth certificate or passport.  If you are a New Zealand permanent resident please provide proof of your residency. If you have neither of these please provide a copy of your passport and work visa.  If you cannot provide any form of identification please contact one of our licensing staff who may be about to assist you further. 
  • For application fees please see Fees and Charges here​.​​

Criteria for Manager's Certificate

The District Licensing Committee shall take the following matters into account when considering an application:

  • The character and reputation of the applicant, including any recorded convictions.
  • Any experience that the applicant has had in managing any licensed premises.
  • Any relevant training and/or qualifications the applicant may have.
  • Any matter dealt with in the reports from the Police and Inspector.

All applications for a Manager's Certificate require the appropriate form to be completed. These are available from the South Waikato District Council Offices in Putaruru or Tokoroa.


Temporary and Acting Authority

Temporary Manager

A Licensee may appoint a Temporary Manager in their absence. The appointee need not hold a Manager's Certificate, but must apply for one within two working days of the appointment, please see link attached for application form.  The appointee is deemed to be the holder of a Manager's Certificate until the application is decided. If the appointee does not apply for a Manager's Certificate within two working days, or if the application is refused, they cannot fulfil the role as Temporary Manager. Both the DLC and Police must be notified of the appointment within 2 days and must be provided in the appropriate Form provided below

Acting Manager

A Licensee may appoint an Acting Manager:

  • for a period no longer than three weeks at any one time, where the licensee or a Manager is ill or absent; and
  • for periods no longer than a total of six weeks in a twelve month period to enable to licensee or a Manager to go on holiday.
  • The person appointed as Acting Manager is deemed to be the holder of a Manager's Certificate and it is not necessary for that person to apply for or hold such a Certificate.
  • Both the DLC and Police must be notified of the appointment if it is longer than 2 consecutive days and must be provided in the appropriate Form provided below

Resignation of Appointment of Manager

The licensee must give notice of cancellation or termination of the appointment to:

  • the Licensing Authority, and
  • the Police or the Office of the District Licensing Committee with which the application for the licence was filed and must be submitted on the appropriate form

Reporting Agencies

All alcohol applications are checked for convictions by the Alcohol Harm Reduction Officer and all licensed premises are monitored to ensure they comply under The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

Licensing Inspector
Licensing Inspectors look at:

  • the suitability of all applicants,
  • the employment of certified managers,
  • host responsibility practices,
  • the days and hours being applied for,
  • the proposed use of the premises and
  • the proposed designation of the premises.

The Inspector also monitors licensed premises throughout the area for compliance with the Act.

Medical Officer of Health (MOH)
The MOH reports on new and renewed on-licence and club licence applications. The MOH monitors licensed premises for compliance with the Act and host responsibility practices.

The Public Health Service also compiles statistics for the Last Drinks Survey. This is a record of the last place a person was reported drinking in, if the Police question them regarding an offence.

Objections to applications for licences

Who may object
A person who has a greater interest in the application than the general public may object to the grant of a  licence.

What is a greater interest?
A person with a greater interest is someone who is likely to be more affected than most other people (eg, a resident living in the same street as the proposed premises would have a greater interest than a member of the public residing ten km away, who is simply concerned about the effects of alcohol on the community).

Grounds for objection

The following may be grounds for objection:

  • The suitability of the applicant.
  • The days and hours alcohol is to be sold.
  • The days and hours the club premises will be used for club activities (if applying for a club licence).
  • The proposed designation of the premises.
  • The applicant is not supplying non-alcoholic refreshments and food.
  • The applicant is not observing the requirements of the Act in relation to the sale and supply of alcohol to prohibited persons.
  • The applicant is engaged in the sale and supply of other goods besides alcohol and food
  • The applicant is promoting a service other than those directly related to the sale and supply of alcohol and food.

How to make an objection

Your objection must be filed with the DLC within 15 working days after the first public notice about the application appears in the newspaper. The full postal address of the DLC will be included in the notification.

Your objection must be made in writing and include your full name, address and contact telephone number. You may object only in relation to matters that are able to be considered when granting a licence - the licence criteria. You should clearly set out the reasons for your objection and also state whether or not you wish to appear at any hearing. Your objection will have greater effect if you attend the hearing personally and speak in support of your submission. You may like to use the attached objection template attached here

You can make an individual objection or participate in a written group submission, nominating one or two representatives to appear and present the objection at the hearing.

Once your objection is received, it becomes a public document and will be made available to the person applying for the licence and other people or organisations outside the DLC.

Host Responsibility

Promotion and Education

The basic elements of the programme are:

  • Serving alcohol responsibly.
  • Providing and actively promoting food and low and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Identifying and dealing with underage and intoxicated people.
  • Arranging safe transport options.
  • Ensuring that management and staff are capable through up-skilling.
  • Having a firm policy on host responsibility.

Host responsibility is always important, but is crucial when premises are operating (or applying to operate) extended hours. The DLC requires that any premises wishing to operate on a late night basis has appropriate management measures in place to avoid problems with intoxication and unruly behaviour.


Page reviewed: 03 Jul 2017 1:39pm