Apply for an alcohol licence

Apply for an alcohol licence

Find out how to apply for a licence or manager's certificate.


If you'd like advice or help through the application process, we recommend making an appointment to see a licensing inspector. They can talk you through the paperwork and explain Council's policies.

Request an appointment with a licensing inspector

The Health Promotion Agency has developed two guides which you can find at alcohol.org.nz. The guides are designed to help people applying for a licence, preparing for a District Licensing Committee hearing, or objecting to the grant of a licence.

Are you going to the right district licensing committee?

You should only apply to Hutt City Council (your local district licensing committee) if your business is based within the boundaries of Lower Hutt. This includes:

  • Wainuiomata
  • Petone
  • Eastbourne.

Apply online

We encourage you to apply online. You can send completed forms and attachments to sol@huttcity.govt.nz

  1. Fill in the relevant form based on the type of licence you’re applying for:
    1. Special licence application form (PDF 374 KB)
    2. New On-licence application form (PDF 844 KB)
    3. New Off-licence application form (PDF 1.5 MB)
    4. New Club licence application form (PDF 709 KB)
  2. Get the supporting documents ready - these are outlined on the first page of the form. For On-licence, Off-licence and Club licence applications you'll need to attach a Certificate of Use. Make sure your supporting documents are A4 sized.
  3. Email your completed application form with all supporting documents to sol@huttcity.govt.nz.
  4. Once we've received your application, we'll let you know if you need to supply extra information to support your application.

Apply for Certificate of Use

If you're applying to get an alcohol licence for your premises, you'll have to get a Certificate of Use from us before you make a licence application. You must attach this certificate to your licence application.

To make an application for Certificate of Use, fill in the Application for a Certificate of Use (PDF 82 kb)

A Certificate of Use won't be granted if:

  • the use of the premises needs a resource consent and it hasn't been granted
  • there's a pending Code Compliance Certificate to be issued for the building

Public notification

Once we've checked both the public notification forms, you are required to:

  • Advertise:
    • in the Hutt News – notification gets posted on two separate days, or
    • on the Hutt City Council Website.
  • Put public notification up on your premises (shop window).

If you are advertising in the Hutt News, you need to send us the newspaper page with the public notice(s) in it.

We'll send you reminders close to the licence renewal date. It's your responsibility to apply for a renewal before the expiry date, and to put up public notices.

You'll need to go through the same public notification process as above.

When you are ready to apply:

  1. Fill in the relevant form based on the type of licence you're applying for:
    1. On-licence renewal and/or variation application form (PDF 848 KB)
    2. Off-licence renewal and/or variation application form (1.4 MB)
    3. Club licence renewal and/or variation application form (PDF 690 KB)
  2. Get the supporting documents ready – these are outlined on the first page of the form. For On-licence, Off-licence and Club licence applications (including renewals) you'll need to attach a Certificate of Use. Make sure your supporting documents are A4 sized.
  3. Email your completed application form with all supporting documents to sol@huttcity.govt.nz
  4. Once we’ve received your application, we'll let you know if you need to supply extra information to support your application.

A grocery store is a kind of premises for which an off-licence may be issued. The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 prevents dairies and convenience stores from holding off-licenses, so if you want to be able to sell (or be able to continue selling) alcohol, and are not large enough to be a supermarket, qualifying as a grocery store is critical.

In forming an opinion about whether any premises is a grocery store, the District Licensing Committee/ARLA must have regard to:

  • the size, layout and appearance of the premises;
  • the annual sales revenue (or projection annual sales revenue) of the premises;
  • the number, range and kinds of items on sale (or expected to be on sale) on the premises.

Health Promotion Agency's alcohol.org.nz.

All grocery store applications MUST include a statement of gross annual sales revenue signed by a Chartered Accountant - using this form: Grocery store off-licence gross annual sales revenue - new and existing business form (PDF 216 kb), and emailing it to sol@huttcity.govt.nz.

To apply for temporary authority, fill in the Temporary Authority form (PDF 262 kb) and email it to sol@huttcity.govt.nz.

The temporary authority will be subject to existing conditions and is only valid for 3 months. Please remember:

  • you must apply for a permanent alcohol licence within 15 days of your temporary authority being granted
  • a person holding a manager’s certificate must be on the premises at all times when alcohol is being sold.

For premises

Once we've received your completed application, we'll get reports from Police and Regional Public Health. If we don't receive any objections we'll then approve your application. If objections are received your application may require a hearing.

How long it takes to process

The following diagrams show the alcohol licence application process, and how long each step can take:

Licence renewal applications can take six weeks for uncontested applications. Contested applications can take much longer.

We require a minimum of twenty working days to process a Managers Certificate renewal application

For temporary authority

We need a minimum of 10 working days to process your application. The temporary authority may be granted for up to three months from the date of issue.

Fees vary depending on the kind of premise and risk categories.

2022 Fees and charges

Information contained in your application and any supporting information will be held by Hutt City Council to enable your application to be processed under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. Information regarding this application will be made available to the public on request. The information will be provided to the:

  • Lower Hutt District Licensing Committee,
  • Police,
  • Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority,
  • Council’s Licensing Inspectors, and
  • Medical Officer of Health

This information may form part of a public hearing of your application before the Lower Hutt District Licensing Committee and may be used in the Committee’s decision for your application.

You have the right to ask for a copy of any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to be corrected if you think it is wrong. If you’d like to ask for a copy of your information, or to have it corrected, please contact us at sol@huttcity.govt.nz or at our customer service front desk at 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt.