Plan ahead for special alcohol licences
Quiz night and sporting event organisers are among the many being reminded to apply for special alcohol licences in plenty of time.
Gisborne District Council Regulatory Services Manager Sarwan Kumar asks organisers to plan well ahead and apply for their special licences 20 working days before an event is to be held.
“Applying for a special licence should be one of the first things on their to-do list once the date for an event is set. A large number of people and organisations are simply not making their applications for special liquor licences early enough. The process is designed to ensure host responsibility for events involving alcohol is taken seriously.”
A special licence is required when hosting an event or celebration where alcohol is being sold or supplied.
“The licence allows the holder to sell and supply alcohol on the premises named on the licence to any person during that event. These may include a sporting event, quiz night, wine tasting, bus trip where alcohol is consumed, a private or public party where alcohol is being sold, and an event where tickets are sold and alcohol supplied.”
Mr Kumar says 20 working days are needed to process the application because, before deciding on a special licence application, the District Licensing Committee must obtain reports from the Police and the Medical Officer of Health – a requirement of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.
“These take time. The Act also sets out the 20 days’ requirement. The only exception to this is when the need for a licence could not have been foreseen, such as a funeral. If they don’t apply 20 working days before their event, they may miss out on being able to sell alcohol at their event. The worst-case scenario is they may not be able to hold the event at all.”
If people and organisations want a special licence for a Christmas or New Year event, for instance, they will need to apply in mid-November.