The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 specifies timelines, deadlines and non-working days that can impact on filing and assessment of alcohol licencing applications. The Act also specifies sacrosanct days on which the sale of alcohol is restricted.
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 defines a working day as a day that is not:
Premises applications should be made well before your licence is required. On average 5 to 6 weeks is required to allow for public notification, processing, statutory reporting on your application, and issuing of a District Licensing Committee (DLC) decision on your licence.
Premises applications made in November/December:
Renewal applications (external link)for licences and certificates must be lodged 20 working days before the expiry date of the current licence or certificate. In no case may the application be filed after the licence or certificate has expired.
If you allow your licence to expire, it means you can no longer sell or supply alcohol or have it consumed or displayed on your premises.
You cannot renew an expired licence or certificate and you will need to make a new application.
Special licence applications(external link) must be lodged at least 20 working days before the date of the event, otherwise they may not be accepted by the DLC for consideration.
Short notice (late) applications(external link) made less than 20 working days before the event date must be accompanied by a letter explaining the reason for its lateness. A DLC Commissioner will make a decision on whether your late application can be accepted for assessment. You need to have a good reason as the Act refers to the reason for lateness as could not reasonably have been foreseen.
Application deadlines and non-working days may also impact timelines for special licence applications. Processing may also be longer if there are oppositions or objections received for your application.
This is our busiest time for processing all types of applications, especially special licences.
Lodge your application early, if in doubt contact alcohol licensing for specific time frames.
Special licences dates and deadlines can be found below.
The Shop Trading Hours Act 1990, referring to Easter Sunday trading, does not override the requirements for the sale of alcohol under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 and the requirements for a special licence on sacrosanct days.
Premises holding an off-licence are not permitted to sell alcohol on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, or before 1pm on Anzac day.
No alcohol is to be sold on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, or before 1pm on Anzac day to any person other than those who are:
Casual drinking is not permitted. This includes restaurants.
Waitangi Day and Matariki public holiday's are not sacrosanct days and are normal trading days.
In years where Waitangi day falls on a weekend day, the public holiday is transferred to the following Monday.
Matariki date shifts each year to align with Maori lunar calendar. Review dates here(external link).
All special licence applications for Waitangi Day 6 February must be received by the second week in December.
All applications must be made at least 20 working days before the event, otherwise, they may not be accepted by the District Licensing Committee for consideration (please refer to additional information above about Late Applications for Special Licences).
Special licence applications may also be needed for events happening during Canterbury Anniversary Week. We encourage you to apply early as this is our busiest period for processing applications.
Special licence applications must be lodged at least 20 working days before the event. We encourage you to apply early as this is our busiest period.
New Year’s Eve occurs on the same date every year so late notice applications are unlikely to be accepted as the need for a special licence can be reasonably foreseen.
Christmas is a sacrosanct day for trading.
As a guide, the following deadlines for special licence applications apply for summer.