Alcohol licensing

Where do I find the Alcohol Policy?

The Wairarapa Local Alcohol Policy can be downloaded from our website here

Hardcopies are available from the Council office in Martinborough, or the Featherston, Greytown or Martinborough library.

Do I need an Alcohol Licence?

If you want to open a licensed establishment to supply or sell alcohol, you will need an Alcohol Licence under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

A license is issued to a person, company or other legal entity in relation to a premises. Alcohol licences cannot be transferred from one person to another; or from one premises to another. You may need to include a copy of your duty manager register.  

How do I apply for an alcohol licence?

Applications for alcohol licence must be lodged with the Council. It is recommended you contact the office to discuss and set up a time to lodge your application.

Application forms for each type of licence can be found here.

Note:  Applications for on, off and club licenced premises require planning and building certificates as per Section 100(f) of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act. 

Do I need a Managers Certificate and how do I apply for one?

A certified manager must be on duty any time alcohol is being sold or supplied to the public at a licenced premise. The manager is responsible for complying with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 and any conditions of the licence.  Managers need to be at least 20 years old, have appropriate qualifications, have at least six months experience and be currently working in the industry.  

Note: If your Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ) was issued prior to 18 December 2013, and you have not completed the LCQ Bridging Test, you will need to re-sit your LCQ test. Contact Servewise if you need to book an LCQ test ( )

What are the Alcohol Licencing Fees?

There is a fee for processing licence and certificate applications, and an annual monitoring fee for each licence and certificate.  Both fees are calculated using a risk-based assessment table. Application Fees are based on the following risk factors:

  • Type of premises
  • Opening hours
  • Number of enforcements you have had in the past 18 months

Annual Fees must be paid before a licence or certificate can be issued, and must be paid each year on the anniversary of the licence date.  The Alcohol Licence Risk and Fee Tables can help you estimate your application and annual fee amounts.  Contact us for advice at 06 306 9611 or email

Risk CategoryApplication Fee (incl. GST)Annual Fee (incl. GST)
Very Low$368.00$161.00
Very High$1207.50$1437.50

District Licensing Committee (DLC)

Decisions on the licences and certificates are made to the District Licensing Committee (DLC), but the process is administered by Council officers. If an application is opposed or generates public objections, the DLC will hold a hearing. All DLC decisions will be published and made available to the public.  

Wairarapa DLC Chairs
Carterton Chair: Elaine Brazendale 
Masterton Commissioner: Jane Terpstra
South Wairarapa Commissioner: Alastair Plimmer

Wairarapa DLC Members
Don Adams: Judicial JP, Farmer, Conservation Board
Greg Ariell: ALAC locally, regionally & nationally
Bruce Farley: NZ Police, former community constable and sergeant
Jessie Hunt: Barrister working in family law and mediation, acting for families
Damien Pivac: Lecturer, Bachelor of youth development at WELTEC
Catherine Rossiter-Stead: Former College Dean and trustee of Wellington Free Ambulance

Alcohol Licensing Decisions

District Licensing Committee meeting agendas and individual decisions are available on our meetings page.

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