Many people like to have a drink when they celebrate a special occasion or socialise. Licensing controls regulated drinking environments. Misuse of alcohol, including excessive and inappropriate consumption, however, can lead to alcohol related harm.

Filling your application electronically

We are continuing to receive electronic filing of applications.  How to file an application and make invoice payments [PDF, 50 KB]

Our main contact is by phone and email. We thank you for your patience during this time while we all readjust working under different alert levels. We will endeavour to respond to any questions or applications in a timely manner.

Information from the Ministry of Justice on agency reporting under COVID-19

The Ministry of Justice has published an information page(external link) on 17 April, and updated on 5 May, about any Orders that have been issued under the Epidemic Preparedness (Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012—Licence Application Inquiries) Immediate Modification Order 2020.

This covers questions about any changes government has made to alcohol licensing processes and other general advice for Councils and their DLCs. We are required to follow the advice from the Ministry of Justice provides around legislative timelines and legal requirements during this period to ensure the intent and integrity of the licensing process is maintained for all parties.

COVID-19 alert levels 

The requirements in response to the COVID-19 emergency have been put in place by MBIE, for you should consult the official COVID-19 website(external link) is alert levels change at any time so you understand the rules and you’re responsibilities:

All licence holders (including for clubs or special licences) need to follow the guidance on the COVID-19 website as it is updated for each alert level, looking at both gatherings, events, and public venues and workplaces and business sections.

What does this mean for your alcohol licence?

The COVID-19 rules are over and above any alcohol licence conditions and are your responsibility.

It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the relevant COVID-19 alert level requirements at the time you are operating under your licence.

  • Annual Fees: A friendly reminder also that any Annual fees due need to be up-to-date and paid by their due date if you have been closed and are reopening under any Level.
  • Class 4 Gaming and COVID-19:  info can be found on the DIA website(external link)

Key messages under alert levels

We suggest that you also talk directly with your industry associations or respective club/sporting associations for additional guidance and support and tools to use.

Under level 1

All licence holders (including for clubs or special licences) should follow best practice guidance under level 1(external link) for businesses and hospitality.

Key messages for hospitality and events under level 1 include:

  • Play it safe: Customers tracking where they have been. Have a NZ COVID-19 tracer QR code for your business.
  • Stay Healthy: Encouraging basic hygiene measures, including handwashing for staff and customer facilities,  not coming to work if you are sick and cleaning of your premises.

Under level 2

Please keep up to date with information on the Covid-19 Web site(external link)

  • SEATED (and Capacity rules)  
  • SEPARATED (Floor plan)
  • SINGLE SERVER (Social distancing responsibility)
  • PLAY IT SAFE (Contact tracing and Health and Safety)

Special Licences

If we are under a COVID-19 alert level, facility owners/managers can still choose to have additional requirements for those using their facilities. They will need to specify how you will manage your gathering under the relevant alert level at the time of the event.

You should prepare a COVID-19 Management Plan, that is agreeable to the venue owner, while we just need to confirm that you have one in place. 

The issuing of a special licence does not confirm event compliance with any Government COVID-19 order requirements, as at the date of the event, for gatherings and sale of alcohol, including for capacity numbers. It is expected, and your responsibility, to observe any requirements of the Government that apply when operating your event on the day.

If your event is “postponed” to another date because of COVID-19 restrictions on public gathering size on the date your event was granted, preventing your event-taking place, then please let us know ASAP at the time. The Act allows for a postponement of an event to a new date in some circumstances, meaning we may be able to reissue your special licence for that same event with a new date.  We consider postponements requests on a case-by-case basis as some conditions apply.

More information is on our application page.

Reporting suspected breaches by licensed premises – under levels 1 to 4

Members of the community concerned about breaches of alert level rules(external link). Under the Health Act Orders for COVID-19 alert levels, certain agencies are delegated enforcement powers – this does not include Council licensing inspectors.

The five agencies with these powers are the Ministry of Health, WorkSafe, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Police and Ministry for Primary Industries. These agencies have combined to provide a comprehensive approach to compliance.

You can register or report a breach at the COVID-19 website(external link). We understand compliance agencies review the urgency to confirm the appropriate responding agency. The online form makes it easy for these agencies to understand what the concern is, and who is best to respond. People who do not have access to the internet can still phone 105 to report their concerns to those agencies.

If you wish to make a complaint about a licensed premises operation under their Alcohol Licence and non-alert level breaches, or about their advertising or promotions please email If it looks to be and alert level matter we will refer to the police licensing team.

Christchurch City Council, the Police and Community and Public Health have a responsibility to control how alcohol is sold, supplied and consumed.

Hosts, retailers and alcohol suppliers also need to ensure they and their staff have the right training and the correct licences so guests and customers can enjoy alcohol responsibly and within the law. 

Applications for alcohol licences (new, renewal, and variations) need to be notified to the public by publication of a public notice. The public notices for all applications in the Christchurch City Council area (including Banks Peninsula) are published on the public notice register

Members of the public can object to an application for an alcohol licence in some cases. Find out how to object to an alcohol licence application.  

Alcohol Licensing in the Community [PDF, 1.1 MB] also has useful information about what to do if you have a particular concern or a problem with licensed premises. You can do this through the Council's general report a problem or ask a question pages.

Our quick url links for licensing information of interest to the community are:

Alcohol Licensing Community Brochure link)

Alcohol Licensing Public Notices link)

Objecting to a licence link)

DLC decisions link) 


If you require more information or assistance with licensing processes, fees payment options information, or have a question or concern about an existing premise:

Separate from objecting to a licence application there are other ways in which members of the community can contact Council to raise concerns or problems you may have with existing licenced premises [PDF, 1.1 MB], such as noise, nuisance, vandalism or specific promotions. 

Check out the latest tri-agency newsletters for updates and information for licensees.

You can now complete and submit Notice of Duty Manager Appointment/Change forms online. 

Please use the most up-to-date version of our application forms by downloading the form you need directly from this website.  The last update was completed in January 2020.

Alcohol licences

If you want to sell or supply alcohol, you must hold a current alcohol licence.

Manager's certificate

Allows you to manage any licensed premises.

Timelines and trading days

Defines working days and sacrosanct days that regulate time periods when you can apply for a licence and which days alcohol can be sold on licenced premises.

Alcohol licence fees

A schedule of fees relating to alcohol licensing applications and renewals.

Objecting to a grant of a licence

Members of the public can object to an application for an alcohol licence in some cases.

Host responsibility and alcohol promotions

Creating a responsible drinking environment and looking out for your customers.

Supplying food

Business with on-licences or club licences must have food available whenever they are open and selling alcohol.

Alcohol licence public notification

Applications for alcohol licences (new and renewal) must be notified to the public.

Alcohol bans

It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places in certain areas of Christchurch. This helps to keep our city safe and welcoming.

Christchurch tri-agency group newsletter

Latest information for alcohol licensees and duty managers.

Alcohol policies

Information on Council local alcohol policies.

District Licensing Committee

The role of the District Licensing Committee is to consider and determine all new and renewal applications.

Annual Reports to ARLA

Christchurch DLC Annual Reports to the Alcohol Licensing Regulatory Authority (ARLA) in Wellington.

Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan

The Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan includes strategies and actions for the non-regulated environment aimed at reducing alcohol harm across Christchurch.