Winter 2022

Alcohol licencing tips and reminders

Our winter newsletter will help you prepare for the new season and ensure everyone keeps safe while having fun in a responsible way – whatever chilly blasts the weather brings.

Where are the alcohol ban areas?

The Alcohol Control Bylaw ensures there are limitations for consuming or possessing alcohol in public places to reduce alcohol related harm. Did you know there are 23 towns across the district that have alcohol ban areas?

Is that area licensed?

As a licensee, make sure you know the specific details of your licensed area. Serving alcohol in an unlicensed area is an offence under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

Need to upskill or train your staff?

An easy way to do this is to complete the free online "Serve wise" learning tool at

The Māori New Year

Matariki is a star cluster which appears mid-winter. Our first public holiday to celebrate Matariki was on Friday 24 June. According to the Māori lunar calendar, the appearance of Matariki signals that it's time to harvest and gather food for the cold months ahead. How is your planning going for the year ahead?


If you want to hold an event where you plan to: trade beyond your licenced hours; trade in an unlicensed area; or sell to customers not permitted under your licence conditions, then you need a Special Licence. Find out all you need to know, including how to apply online here.


Toolkits to help operators store their records in one place are now available from The Health Promotion Agency. HPA also provides an overview of the legal obligations and responsibilities licensed premises must comply with. You can access the resources here.

Alfresco dining 

If you are occupying a public space for alfresco dining and serving alcohol in that space, it’s important that your alcohol licence covers that area. You also must have Council permission to be in that specific space.

Te Hiringa Hauora - Health Promotion Agency (HPA) 

HPA promotes health and wellbeing, aims to reduce harm, and advises the government about the misuse of alcohol. Its work helps to make people more aware of, and motivated to, drink at low-risk levels - or to choose not to drink at all. It also provides a range of guidance material for businesses at Search for ‘resource publications’. If you would like a toolkit or signs, please contact your Council alcohol inspectors.

Do you know your licensed area?

Your licence details the conditions under which alcohol can be sold, supplied or consumed. These conditions apply to a specific licensed area. As a licensee, you are expected to know your licensed area and make all staff aware of it too.

It is also important that you know any designations that apply to the licensed area. Some premises may have a number of licensed areas with different designations. For example, the bar area may be supervised and the dining area may be undesignated. Keep all staff in the loop about what’s what and what’s where.

Understanding designations of licensed areas.

  • Undesignated area - all ages are permitted.
  • Supervised area - minors (under 18) must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Restricted area - strictly 18 years or over (only) are permitted.

Controlled Purchase Operation (CPO) 

It’s crucial for any licensed premise to have systems in place and staff trained to prevent the sale of alcohol to a minor. CPOs involve supervised volunteers, aged under 18, attempting to buy alcohol from licensed businesses. These operations are designed to monitor the sale of alcohol to minors and enforce the law regarding this (as set out in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012). If a volunteer's alcohol purchase is successful, the premises operator, manager or licensee is liable for prosecution or other sanctions via the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) or the district court.


CPOs can also be used as an educative tool for licensees, their staff and the wider community. Check out the free training and useful information available at 

Any suggestions for our next newsletter?

Email us at or visit our website at:

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram