Objecting to an alcohol application

1. Overview

When a business applies for an on-licence, off-licence, or club licence, new or renewed, they are required to publicly notify it.

Public notices for alcohol licence applications

You can see public notices for alcohol license applications on the Council Website Alcohol public notices

Objection period for alcohol licence applications

Once the public notice has been posted online, there is a 15-working-day period to object to the council. Any person who has a 'greater interest' than the general public in an application for an alcohol license, may object to the grant or renewal of that license.

What is 'greater interest'?

A person with a 'greater interest' may be a resident or business located in the same street as the proposed or existing business applying for an alcohol license. On the other hand, someone who is concerned about the effects of alcohol on the community in general, but who lives in a different area, may not meet the criteria for 'greater interest'.

2. Criteria for objecting to alcohol licence applications

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (section 105) outlines the only grounds for objecting to the application for a new, or renewed, alcohol licence.

The object of the act is that:

  • alcohol sales, supply and consumption should be undertaken safely and responsibly
  • harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol should be minimised.

What you can object about?

New alcohol licence applications - new owner takes over existing licenced premises

You can object about the suitability of the applicant.

This only includes situations where the new owner takes on the same conditions as the existing licence.

All other new alcohol license applications you can object about:

  • The object of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012
  • Suitability of the applicant
  • Relevant local alcohol policy
  • Days and hours when alcohol will be sold
  • Design and layout of premises
  • Other goods and services offered at the premises (excluding kai and alcohol). 

You can also object about whether:

  • the applicant has the appropriate systems, staff, and training to comply with the law
  • the amenity and good order of the locality would be reduced by the effects of the issue of the licence, to more than a minor extent
  • the amenity and good order of the locality are already badly affected by existing licences that it is not desirable to issue any further licenses
  • amenity and good order includes consideration of noise, nuisance, vandalism, nearby sensitive sites, such as schools, and the density of licensed premises in the area.

Useful information around how to object to an application can be found at https://www.alcohol.org.nz/in-your-community/take-action/object-to-an-alcohol-licence

For renewal alcohol licence applications

You can object about:

  • suitability of the applicant
  • relevant local alcohol policy
  • days and hours when alcohol will be sold
  • design and layout of the premises
  • other goods and services offered at the premises (excluding kai and alcohol).
  • the manner in which the applicant has traded
  • whether the amenity and good order of the locality would be increased by the effects of a refusal to renew the licence, by more than a minor extent - this includes consideration of noise, nuisance, vandalism.

You should know!

Trade-related objections from other licensed businesses are not valid grounds for objection under the act.

 If you are objecting to a new alcohol licence application for premises that are already licensed, and the new applicant is seeking the same terms and conditions as the existing licence, the only ground you can object under is the suitability of the applicant.

3. How to make an objection?

To object to an alcohol licence application, you'll need to:

  1. notify us in writing that you wish to object and the reasons why (you must refer to the relevant criteria listed on the previous page)
  2. make sure to include your full name, address, email address and contact telephone number. You should be aware that a copy of your objection including your details will be given to the applicant.
  3. You need to file your objection with us within 15 working days of the online public notice announcing an application has been made.

Email your objection to:DLG@fndc.govt.nz

Last updated 30 July 2021