Liquor licensing laws

Bob asks:
(updated on Tuesday, December 13th 2011)

I am looking to get a liquor license for my café. There are so many regulations required. How do I get through all the red tape?

Our Experts Answer:

There can be a lot of red tape and regulations when applying for a liquor license. Renewing a liquor licence can also be problematic.

A Liquor Licence is required to sell liquor at a café, restaurant or bottle shop. Caterers also require a liquor licence, and there are times when a one-off event, such as a ball in a gallery, may require a special licence. The Sale of Liquor Act sets out the various requirements and regulations which are administered by the local Council.

The starting point for a liquor licence is generally a manager’s certificate. The sale of Liquor must always be administered by someone who has a manager’s certificate. The paperwork process will then involve obtaining a planning and building certificate which ensures that all the necessary resource and building consents have been obtained.

Once the above steps are complete, the liquor licence application can then be completed and lodged. This requires public notification, police checks and health board reviews. The process can seem oppressive and can take around 3 months to complete.

Hamish Firth of Mt Hobson Group manages the Resource Consent application process and provides initial pre purchase advice to investors and developers. www.mhg.co.nz

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