Apply for a Special Licence for events

This allows for the sale or drinking of alcohol at events. It is normally used to temporarily extend the hours or the area of a premise currently licensed, or to licence one-off events where no licence is currently held.  A Special Licence is valid for the particular event, or series of linked events, or social gathering, specified in the licence.

How to apply

Do I need a special licence?

A Special Licence may be required if alcohol is part of your event e.g. if alcohol is being sold, or if your event is ticketed, whether cover charge, donations, payment for a meal, etc. and alcohol is consumed at the event. 

Multiple events

If you wish to apply for a number of events on one application, these events must be linked in some way, e.g. a series of related meetings; a series of related match dates for a club's sports season.

Submit 20 working days before event

Applications must be lodged at least 20 working days before the date of the event. Applications received outside this deadline may not be accepted by the District Licensing Committee (DLC) for consideration.

Submit your form by mail to:

The Secretary
District Licensing Committee
Far North District Council
Private Bag 752
Kaikohe 0440


The fees for processing your application are non-refundable and must be paid when you apply for your licence. View our Fees and Charges for more information.


Short notice applications (less than 20 working days before the event date) must be accompanied by a letter explaining the reason for lateness for District Licensing Committee (DLC) consideration. You need to have a good reason as the Act refers to the reason for the lateness "could not reasonably have been foreseen earlier". 

If your reason for lateness is not accepted by the DLC your application will not proceed further. Application fees are non-refundable.

Three statutory reporting agencies have the role of making inquiries, assessing and reporting on applications. The Act give both the Police and Medical Officer of Health 15 working days to report before your application can be referred to the DLC for consideration and a decision.

In general BYO is permitted at private functions such as weddings and birthdays. A Special Licence generally is not required for this type of function.

For other events BYO may not be a permitted activity (i.e. is unlawful). An alcohol licence might be required. Find out more about whether you require a Special Licence by referring to the flow chart link above.