Komiti Tuku Raihana ā-rohe

District Licensing Committee

Alcohol licences

The District Licensing Committee (DLC) determines applications for new and renewed alcohol licences (whether opposed or unopposed) and other duties under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

Gisborne District Council has appointed a DLC made up of a commissioner, a councillor and 4 members of the community.

  • Commissioner - Pat Seymour
  • Councillor Rhonda Tibble
  • Kenneth Lyell
  • Pamela Albert
  • Paulette Goddard
  • Barney Tupara
  • DLC Secretary - Gary McKenzie
  • Advisor - Denise Williamson

About licence applications, objections and hearings

On this page

DLC consider and determine applications

The Act permits the chairperson, sitting alone, to determine uncontested applications on the papers. Any contested application is dealt with by way of public hearing.

The public can object to an application for an alcohol licence if they have an interest greater than the public in general.

If there are no objections the application may be granted without a public hearing.

If the DLC receive objections then a public hearing will be held unless the objection is deemed not valid, or the applicant determines not to proceed with the application.

In considering any application for a licence, the DLC must consider various criteria as set out in the Act.

The decision makers cannot take into account the impacts of the licence on business conducted under any other licence or other matters not covered by the criteria.

To view an application

Public notices for alcohol licences are published on our website

Applications may be inspected during business hours at Awarua, the office of the Gisborne District Licensing Committee, Gisborne District Council, 15 Fitzherbert Street, Gisborne.

Applications (which include a plan of the premises) may be viewed at Council or in person with an alcohol licensing inspector who is available to answer any questions you may have about the process or the application.

An appointment is required so please book before coming to the Council office by phoning 0800 653 800.

If you live in a remote area or can’t come into the office to discuss the application, please phone us. We can make an appointment with an Alcohol Licensing Inspector on a video conferencing app such as Zoom.

You can also request a copy of the application by contacting alcohol.licensing@gdc.govt.nz

Note: we may be required to redact certain information because of personal privacy or commercial sensitivity.

Who can make an objection?

You can only object if you are likely to be more directly affected by the licence than most other people.

You have greater interest in the licence application if you are likely to be more directly affected by the licence than most other people. This is called “having status or standing” and is confirmed by the DLC before or during a hearing.

For example, if you live in the same street as the proposed premises, you could be in a position of greater interest, compared with someone who lives 10km away and has concerns about the effects of alcohol on the community.

On the other hand, someone who is concerned about the effects of alcohol on the community in general but who lives in a different area, may not meet the criteria for greater interest.

Be prepared to come to a hearing

A person who objects to an alcohol application should be prepared to come to a hearing and present evidence to support their case.

Objections by persons who do not appear at the hearing carry less weight than an objection from a person who is prepared to attend the hearing, present evidence and be available to be questioned.

A person who is a valid objector and participates in the hearing process becomes a party to those proceedings and has the right to appeal that decision to the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority or join another party’s appeal.

Objecting - objection letter template

What you can object about

Your objection must relate to matters in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

No objection to the issue of a new licence may be made in relation to a matter other than a matter specified in section 105(1) of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

No objection to the renewal of a licence may be made in relation to a matter other than a matter specified in section 131 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

You must make specific reference to these matters in your letter for your objection to be valid.

Note: for a new licence application where there is a licence of the same kind already in place for the premises (because of a change in ownership) and the new licence application is for the same conditions as the existing licence, then your objection can only relate to suitability of the applicant and not any other matters. This is covered under s102 (4) and (4a) of the Act.

If section 102 (4 and 4A) does not apply, one of the grounds for objection under s105 is whether the amenity and good order of the locality would be likely reduced, to more than a minor extent, by the issue of the licence. The Act defines good order and amenity as (the extent to which and the ways in which the locality is) pleasant and agreeable, see section 106. For renewal applications, The Act can also help us understand what good order and amenity covers Note - Section 131 as the criteria differs to that of a new application.

For more information

For more detailed information about what you can object to, go to the Health Promotion Agency website for a guide on objecting to licence applications and information on preparing for hearings of the DLC.

Local Alcohol Policy (LAP)

Gisborne has a Local Alcohol Policy

For questions about the LAP, email our alcohol licensing team alcohol.licensing@gdc.govt.nz

The inspector managing the application can discuss the application with you and explain what's being applied for. They can also discuss your concerns and view the application file with you.

They will also explain the timelines and process for you, so you will know what to expect if you decide to file an objection (this is also explained below).

Template for your objection letter, copy and paste this format.

You can either post or send by email to: alcohol.licensing@gdc.govt.nz

[Insert date]

The Secretary
Gisborne District Licensing Committee
Gisborne District Council
PO Box 747
Gisborne 4040.

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to object to the alcohol licence application by [insert premises name and address].

I have an interest in this application that is greater than the general public because:

  • [List those interests]

Examples: I live less than one kilometre from the location.
I work for/represent ABC Primary School, which is situated less than 500m from the proposed premises.

I object to the application on the following grounds:
Criteria 1

Criteria –  [state the criteria you are referring to in Section 105 and 106 of the Act].

Reasons for objections:
  • [Identify your concerns and what impact you believe the issue of the licence will have]
Objection 2
  • Criteria –  [state the criteria you are referring to in Section 105 and 106 of the Act.]
Reasons for objection:
  • [identify your concerns and what impact you believe the issue of the licence will have]

Your details

Note: These details will be given to the applicant, the reporting agencies and the District Licensing Committee.

If you don't provide your details, it's likely your objection will be deemed invalid.

[Street Address:]
[Postal address] (if different to street address)

Yours sincerely


Where to send your objection

Your objection must be received by the DLC no later than 25 working days after the date of the public notice.

Your objection must be received by the DLC within 25 working days after the date of the public notice being made. Any public objections made after the public notified closing date for an application (as identified by the public notice) may not be considered by the DLC.

Late objections

Any public objections made after the publicly notified closing date may be received but may not be considered by the DLC. Acceptance will be subject to whether the committee considers whether a s208 waiver is appropriate in some circumstances where an objection has not been able to be filed within the timeframe set out in the Act.

Objections can be submitted by post, email, or in person:

Post: The Secretary, Gisborne District Council Licensing Committee, PO Box 747, Gisborne 4040

Email: alcohol.licensing@gdc.govt.nz

In person: Gisborne District Council, 15 Fitzherbert Street, Gisborne.

You will be sent an email, acknowledging receipt of your objection.

If your objection is not viewed as a valid objection before the hearing, you will be notified by the Secretary of the District Licensing Committee.

If your objection is accepted as valid you will be notified when a hearing date has been set.  The Hearings team will write to all those involved advising the hearing date, time and location and procedure for disclosure of evidence and submissions.

Who will know about your objection?

The Alcohol Licensing team send a copy of all objections to the alcohol licence applicant.

The Alcohol Licensing team must send a copy of all objections to the alcohol license applicant.

Applicants are allowed to know who has objected and the basis of any objections so they can decide whether to change their proposal, continue with their application, or prepare a response to the objections.

You're welcome to contact the applicant directly if you would like a better understanding of their proposed operation or wish to clarify your concerns with them.

In some cases, the applicant may contact you directly about the objection. Some applicants may also invite objectors or members of the public to a meeting to discuss the concerns raised.

The reporting officers (Licensing Inspector, Police and Medical Officer of Health) will also be provided a copy of all objections as this will assist in informing their own inquiries and reporting on the application. They may contact you if they need to clarify anything to assist with their own inquiries.

A copy of your objection is placed on the file which will eventually go to the DLC for a decision.

Objections or objector contact details will not be published or advertised. However, if you wish to appear and be heard at a public hearing, your name and the nature of your objections do become a matter of public record.

Hearings of the DLC

The District Licensing Committee is a tribunal.

The hearing is a legal process similar to a tribunal hearing with a chairperson and a panel of appointed members. There will be a certain degree of formality during the hearing, but the focus for the committee (as a semi-judicial commission of inquiry) is to hear evidence that will help them make a decision on an application.

Refer to Meetings for District Licensing Committee for hearing dates and their decisions.

For more information on objections and hearings