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District Licensing Committee

This section contains information about the District Licensing Committee, the public hearings, opposed applications agendas, minutes, decisions and unopposed application decisions.
Updated: 27/03/2018 8:19 a.m.

District Licensing Agencies have been replaced by District Licensing Committees (DLCs) on 18 December 2013. 

A DLC is comprised of an elected local Council member and two other members or Commissioners.

The Committee will decide contested (opposed) and uncontested (unopposed) applications for:

  • new or renewed licences,
  • managers' certificates,
  • temporary authorities,
  • special licences.

To view information about the Committee and its terms of reference, follow the link below. 

Unopposed Applications

If no objection is lodged raising any matter in opposition to the application, the District Licensing Committee Chair will consider the application and make the decision.

To view all decisions from the unopposed applications, please follow the link below.

Opposed Applications - Public Hearings

All opposed alcohol licensing applications must be heard by the District Licensing Committee (DLC) at a public hearing.

A DLC hearing is a formal process similar to a court hearing. The DLC Chairperson and two appointed DLC members hear the application.

Hearings are reasonably formal so that applications are dealt with consistently and fairly. All parties are given an equal opportunity to present their views.

Hearings are usually held at Whangarei District Council Chambers, First Floor, Forum North Building, Rust Avenue.

District licensing committee hearings are open to the public, including members of the press.

On occasion, it may be necessary to exclude the public from some parts of a hearing (for example when the Committee feels the privacy of an individual needs to be protected).

To view the agendas, minutes and decisions from the Public Hearings (opposed applications), please follow the link below.

What happens at a Hearing

The usual procedure for a District Licensing Committee Hearing is as follows.

Welcome and Introduction

At the start of the hearing, the Chairperson of the District Licensing Committee will introduce the committee members sitting on the hearing committee and he/she will briefly outline the procedure for the hearing.

The Chairperson also confirms that the committee members don’t have any conflicts of interest and are able to consider the application impartially.

The Chairperson may then call upon the parties present to introduce themselves to the committee. The Chairperson is addressed as Mr Chairman or Madam Chair.

Application and Correspondence

The applicant will be called upon to present his/her case either personally or through a representative. The applicant may be represented by legal counsel or consultants and may call witnesses in support of the application.

The applicant and all witnesses will be required to take either an oath on the Bible or an affirmation.

After the applicant has presented his/her case, the committee question the applicant and the witnesses.

The Chairperson then invites the reporting agencies (Police, Medical Officer of Health and Licensing Inspector) and any objectors to cross question the applicant or witnesses.

The District Licensing Committee may ask questions to clarify the information presented.


Reporting agencies (Police, Fire Service, Medical Officer of Health and Licensing Inspector etc.) are then called upon to speak.

They are sworn in (by oath or affirmation) before making their submissions or presenting evidence. The agencies must answer questions from the committee.

The applicant and objectors may also ask them questions when it’s their turn to cross-examine.

Objector's Statement

Each speaker will be required to take either an oath on the Bible or an affirmation. Objectors cannot introduce new grounds for objecting, but can present evidence to support their reasons for objecting.

The committee members or chairperson may question the objector or their witnesses.

The applicant and the reporting agencies can also ask questions about the evidence.

Applicant's Statement / Evidence

Once objections and cross-examination are completed, the applicant or his/her representative has the right to summarise the application and reply to matters raised by objections.

Members of the District Licensing Committee may ask further questions of the applicant at this stage.

Closure of Hearing

The Chairperson then generally closes the hearing and the applicant, objectors and their representatives leave the room.

The District Licensing Committee will then deliberate and will release its decision in writing in due course.

At any stage during the hearing, members of the District Licensing Committee may ask questions.


Please contact the Democracy Department at Whangarei District Council on (09) 430 4200, if you need more information on public hearings and the hearings process. 



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