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Special Licence for Events

You need a special licence if you are:

  • Selling alcohol at an event
  • Charging an entry fee or collecting donations where alcohol is being supplied for free

Events include:

  • Sporting events
  • Concerts
  • Farmer’s Markets
  • Private social gatherings (e.g. birthdays, weddings).

You don’t need a special licence if you are supplying alcohol or guests are bringing their own alcohol, to a private event — as long as the public can’t access the event.

We can’t issue a licence for BYO events.

Download our Guide for Event Organisers (PDF, 559KB) if you are planning an event in Masterton.

When to Apply

You need to apply for a special licence at least 20 working days before your event. If you’re planning a large event, apply at least 40 working days before your event.

If you submit your application less than 20 working days before your event, you need to tell us why. The application form will ask you for this information. The District Licensing Committee will decide if your application can be processed. If it’s declined, you won’t receive a refund.

If you’re planning a large event (over 400 people), we’ll need more information including an Alcohol Management Plan.

How to Apply

If you have any questions, get in touch with the alcohol licensing team on 06 370 6300 or email [email protected].

1. Get all the information together

Read the checklist on the front page of your application form to make sure you include all the documents we need. You’ll need to let us know:

  • What type of event you’re having, and the days and hours you’re selling alcohol.
  • The number of people you expect at the event.
  • How you will promote responsible drinking.

2. Calculate your fee

You will pay a non-refundable fee with your application. The fee will be based on the size and number of events you’re planning to have. Use the information on the application form to calculate your fee or the fee calculator in the related resources sidebar.

3. Pay the fee and apply for the licence

You can drop off your application at any of our offices and pay by cash, cheque, eftpos, or credit card.

If you post 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’ll let you know.

4. Review of your application

These are the points that will be considered and the parties who will review your application:

  • NZ Police will comment on your suitability to hold a licence.
  • Regional Public Health, on behalf of a Medical Officer of Health, may check your arrangements for reducing alcohol-related harm. This includes the availability of food and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • An alcohol licensing inspector will write a report on your application. The inspector will make a recommendation to the District Licensing Committee on whether the licence should be granted.

5. Outcome of your application

We will forward your application to the District Licensing Committee who will make the final decision. If your application is approved, we will get your special licence to you.

We will let you know if:


  • Members of the public object to your application
  • NZ Police or Regional Public Health Service oppose your application.
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