Legal requirements for licence holders

Ngā herenga ā-ture mō ngā kaipupuri raihana

There are a number of legal requirements licence holders must follow.  

  • You need to tell us if you change your contact details.   

    This means we can  send you information about when your licence is due to expire, the fees you need to pay to keep your licence alive, and any new legal requirements you need to follow as a licensee.

  • If you appoint a new, acting or temporary manager (for more than 48 hours), or if you terminate a manager’s appointment, you have to tell us within 2 working days.

    You also need to record this in your manager’s register.

    Visit the Manager's Certificates page for more details.

    Manager's Certificates 

  • You have to keep a register of all certificated, temporary and acting managers.  See the Manager's Certificate page for details of the records  that must be kept. 

    Manager's Certificate Information 

  • All clubs must ensure that there is an appointed club secretary at all times.

    If a new secretary is appointed, the District Licensing Committee must be notified within 10 working days of the appointment. 

    This can be done by way of a letter or email to the secretary of the District Licensing Committee.

  • Every licence holder must pay annual fees. These are due each year by the anniversary of the date your licence was issued. If you don’t pay your fees, you can’t use your licence to sell alcohol.

    We will send you an invoice before the anniversary date.  

    If you don’t pay your annual fees on time your licence will be suspended, which means you won’t be able to sell alcohol until the full fee is paid.

  • You must display a  copy of your current licence and a sign showing the name of the manager who is on duty.

    You also need to put up signs where your customers can clearly see them saying that alcohol will not be sold to people who are intoxicated or under age.

    There are free printable signs on the Health Promotion Agency website:      

  • You need to read and comply with all the conditions of your licence and with all the requirements of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

    • Only sell alcohol to people who are 18 or older.

    • Don’t sell alcohol to people who are intoxicated.

    • Promote alcohol responsibly.

    The Police and licensing inspectors can inspect your premises and if you’re not doing what your licence or the law says then they can apply to suspend or cancel your licence and the certificate of the manager on duty.

  • It is against the law to  run promotions that encourage, or likely to encourage, people to consume alcohol excessively. This includes licensees, duty managers and other staff.

    You may not promote alcohol at a price that implies that it is 25% or more below the normal price. So, if you are advertising a Happy Hour or similar promotion the advertised reduced price can be up to 24.99% cheaper than the usual price.

    The only exception is where you are only advertising the promotion inside the premises, so that it cannot be seen or heard from outside of the premises. This includes promoting discounts on social media (e.g. facebook), other websites (e.g. grabone), inside other premises (e.g. another bar or a backpackers), on the radio, and so on.

    Promotions that include free alcohol are also not to be advertised anywhere so that they can be seen or heard outside the premises. So you cannot advertise such things as “free drink on arrival” or “free bottle of wine with four people dining”. However,  premises holding an off licence can advertise free samples for consumption on the premises.

    The law says that promotions advertising a prize, or any reward in form or goods and services, that require the purchase of alcohol, is also prohibited. So you cannot run promotions that require patrons to purchase a drink to go into the draw to win a prize. The only exemption to this is where the promotion can only be seen inside the premises and is limited to alcohol bought in those premises.

    Note: Under the Gambling Act it is illegal to offer alcohol as a prize in a raffle or similar competition.

    Remember that any promotion, whether advertised inside or outside of your premises, that can be seen to be likely to encourage people to consume alcohol excessively is contrary to the Act.


  • If you want to sell or supply alcohol in a part of your premises that isn’t licensed, or at a time outside the hours on your licence, you can apply for a special licence.

    Apply for a special licence 

  • When there's a change in the company name, directorship or shareholding of any company (such as a new director or shareholder is appointed, or a director or shareholder resigns from the company), then the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) must be notified.

    The notification of the change must be done within 10 working days after the change has occurred.

    You will need to send an email to the authority’s secretary notifying them with all information regarding the change.  You can contact ARLA at

    Please note: If the company is party to a listing agreement with a stock exchange, the secretary of the authority must be notified within 10 working days after the change in company name, change in directors, or if a shareholder becomes holder of at least 20% of the shares.