Apply for a special alcohol licence

You need to apply for a special licence if you are:

  • Selling alcohol at an event
  • Including alcohol in a ticket price or as part of a service
  • Supplying alcohol free of charge, at either a ticketed event or one where donations are being collected

Apply for special licence

Step 1.Do you need a special licence?

Use our quick online tool to find out whether you need a special licence for your event and download the forms to notify us of a social event or apply for dispensation.

Do you need a special licence?

Step 2.Determine event size

  • Large event – attended by more than 400 people
  • Medium event – attended by 100 to 400 people
  • Small event – attended by less than 100 people

If you are planning a large-scale event, additional information is required including an Alcohol Management Plan. 

Alcohol Management Plan Template (alcohol.org.nz)

For event guidelines, visit The Health Promotion Agency’s website.

Guidelines for managing alcohol at large events (alcohol.org.nz)

Step 3.Check applicable fee

The fee depends on the size of your event, and how many events (of similar nature) are applied for on one application. Further information is on the application form.

Step 4.Complete the application form

Apply for a special alcohol licence(PDF, 198KB)

Step 5.Submit the application

You can submit your application and fee to us by email, by post or in person.   

The application must be submitted and the payment cleared, at least 20 working days before the event.  

Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, weekends, statutory holidays and any days from 20 December through to and including 15 January, are not considered working days.  

Summer holiday period

Please take the summer holiday period into consideration if you are applying for a special licence for an event between late December and mid-February.

Generally, an application for this period needs to be lodged by 18 November for a small or medium-scale event, to ensure it can be processed in time.

Step 6.Wait for decision

The application is reviewed and reported on by the Alcohol Harm Reduction Officer at the New Zealand Police (Whangārei District), Medical Officer of Health at the Northland District Health Board, and one of our Licensing Officers.

If there are any issues or concerns with the application, or it is opposed by any of those mentioned above, you will be contacted.

The application is forwarded to the District Licensing Committee to consider. If your application is granted, we will issue the licence.  If declined, you will not receive a refund.

District Licensing Committee

By email

Email your completed application form to:

mailroom@wdc.govt.nz

An invoice will be emailed to you.  You can either pay online, in person or call us with your details.  We accept Visa and Mastercard payments via our Contact Centre.

Online: Pay an application fee or invoice

Phone: 09 430 4200

By post

Post the completed application form to:

Whangarei District Council
Private Bag 9023
Whangārei 0148

An invoice will be emailed to you.  You can either pay online, in person or call us with your details.  We accept Visa and Mastercard payments via our Contact Centre.

Online: Pay an application fee or invoice

Phone: 09 430 4200

In person

Forum North customer service centre
7 Rust Avenue, Whangārei
Monday to Friday - 8:00am to 4:30pm
Closed public holidays

Ruakākā service centre 
9 Takutai Place, Ruakākā
Monday to Friday - 8:30am to 4:00pm
Closed public holidays

You can pay by cash, eftpos or credit card.

On-site special alcohol licence allows for the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises (or in a designated area) where the event is being held. This includes on a bus, train, ferry or other vehicle – called a conveyance style special licence.

Off-site special alcohol licence allows for the sale of alcohol to people to take away for consumption elsewhere. The licence holder may also supply samples of alcohol free of charge, for consumption on the premises.