Apply for an Alcohol Licence (on, off or club)

To apply for an on, off or club alcohol licence follow these steps:


1. Check what type of licence you need (on, off or club).

Before you can sell or supply alcohol, you need to make sure you have the right alcohol licence.

  • On-licence for sale or supply of alcohol to be consumed on your premises (e.g. bar, restaurant).
  • Off-licence for sale or supply of alcohol to be consumed away from the place of purchase (e.g. bottle store, grocery store).
  • Club licence for sale or supply of alcohol at your club for consumption on site by club members and their guests (e.g. sports club, RSA).


2. Check if you can sell alcohol in your area.

This can be a complicated process to research yourself.  We recommend you call us on (06) 370 6300 and ask for the planning team to check if you can open an alcohol business in your area.

3. Get your alcohol licence building and planning certificates

Before applying for a new alcohol licence, check the building complies with all building and planning requirements.

Your proposed business location must comply with the district plan or resource consent will be required. If resource consent is required, this must be obtained before constructing and operating your business. If you believe your business will comply with the district plan, you can seek confirmation of this from Council. For more information on district plans, resource consents and certificates of compliance, check the resource consent section of our website or phone 06 370 6300 and talk to a Planner.

Your premises must also comply with the Building Act 2004. You may need to obtain a building consent before you start any construction, renovation or ‘change of use’. For more information on this, check out the building consent section of our website or contact us on 06 370 6300 and talk to a Building Inspector.

4. Gather information needed for your application

What you need to include in your application and supporting documents as described on the checklist. Council staff are happy to check the application before it is submitted. Please contact the alcohol licensing staff for an appointment.

5. Calculate your fee

You need to pay a non-refundable fee with your application. You can use the information on the application form to calculate your fee.

6. Apply and submit your application

It takes a minimum of 6–8 weeks to process an application.

In person or by post

Pick up an application from a council officer or download the relevant form above.

You can drop off your application at our front desk and pay by cash, cheque, eftpos, or credit card. If posting your application, include a cheque.

Post to: Masterton District Council, PO Box 444, Masterton 5810

We will process your application and contact you with the decision before your event. If there are any issues, we will let you know. Incomplete applications will be returned with a request for the missing information.

7. Publish a public notice

After you lodge your application, you’ll need to notify the public. You will be given further information when making your application. Public notices must be displayed on the premises and in a local newspaper.

8. Accessing and processing your application

Your application will be reviewed by:

  • NZ Police
  • Regional Public Health
  • One of our alcohol licensing inspectors

We will also visit your premises and review your host responsibility arrangements. The District Licensing Committee will then review your application and make a final decision.

What else you need to know

If you’re applying for an on-licence or off-licence, you must have a certified manager on duty at all times alcohol is being sold. For an on-licence or club licence, you will need to supply food for customers. This means that you will also need a food premises registration.

If your application is granted

If the District Licensing Committee approves your application, you will be required to pay an annual fee (if you have not done so already) before we post your alcohol licence to you. Your new licence lasts for one year. You will need to:

  • Apply to renew before the expiry date.
  • Display a copy of your licence in a visible location near the main entrance of your premises.
  • Pay an annual fee on the anniversary of your licence, we will send you a reminder letter stating the fee.
  • After your first renewal, you’ll need to apply to renew your licence every three years, before the expiry date.

If your application is contested

We will let you know if:

  • Members of the public object to your application
  • NZ Police, Regional Public Health or our inspector oppose your application.
  • If you need to attend a public hearing before a final decision is made. The District Licensing Committee will contact you.