Liquor Licencing Agencies


District Licensing Agency

  • is located at Rotorua Lakes Council and is part of the functions Council performs 
  • receives all liquor licence applications 
  • considers and determines all uncontested applications for on-licences, off-licences, club licences, renewals, variations, redefinitions, temporary authorities and managers’ certificates 
  • determines special licence applications, unless a decision for a special licence is appealed, in which case the Liquor Licensing Authority determines the application.

Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA)

The Alcohol Regulatory and Licencing Authority (ARLA), is the national body for liquor licensing, and consists of a:
  • District Court Judge (who is the Chairperson);
  • and one other member.

They are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Minister.

 The Alcohol Regulatory and Licencing Authority (ARLA):

  • determines applications which have been opposed or referred to it by a DLA
  • considers and determines applications made by the Police or DLA to vary, suspend or cancel liquor licences and manager's certificates
  • determines appeals that have been made against a DLA decision
  • gives direction on various matters to all DLA's.

 Back to top

Reporting Agencies 

New Zealand Police
The licensing sergeant receives a copy of all liquor applications. The Police investigate whether the applicant has any convictions. They monitor licensed premises to ensure the premises comply with the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.

Licensing inspectors
The district licensing agency (DLA) appoints licensing inspectors. Inspectors look into the suitability of applicants, the employment of certified managers, host responsibility practices, the days and hours being applied for, and the proposed use and designation of the premises. They monitor licensed premises for compliance with the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. 

Medical officer of health
The medical officer of health reports on applications for new or renewed on and club licences. The medical officer of health also monitors licensed premises for compliance with the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 and for host responsibility practices.  

Back to top 

Host Responsibility

Host responsibility is an integral part of the sale and supply of liquor. Applicants for liquor licences and managers’ certificates must be able to show the district licensing agency that they will demonstrate host responsibility.

The key elements of host responsibility are:

  • serving alcohol responsibly
  • providing and actively promoting low-alcohol and non-alcoholicalternatives 
  • providing and actively promoting appropriate food
  • identifying and responsibly dealing with underage and intoxicated people
  • arranging safe transport options
  • ensuring that management and staff are trained in host responsibility practices and keep updating their skills
  • having and keeping to an in-house policy on host responsibility.

Back to top 

Page reviewed: 03 Jul 2019 10:12am