Apply for an Event Permit

To host an event in a public place (and sometimes on private property), you’ll need an Event Permit from the Ashburton District Council. This ensures your event gets priority for using the area and complies with current bylaws. It also minimises disruption to the community and environment while managing attendee safety.

To apply for an Event Permit, submit the following attachments via email to the Events Team:

This initiates the application process. These documents need to be submitted at least 4 weeks before your intended event date. For events requiring road closures, you must allow 10 weeks.

When is an event permit required?

If your event is on private property and may impact on the local community or the environment, please contact the Events Team for clarification on whether an Event Permit is required.

If your event is in a public place, such as a reserve, park or community hall, you will need an Event Permit if you answer yes to any of the below questions:

  • Is open to the public and/or has over 150 people in attendance?
  • Your event needs sole or combined use of a public place?
  • Your event needs power and vehicle access in a public place?
  • Will involve food vendors, alcohol, excessive noise (i.e., amplified sound), pyrotechnics or fireworks?
  • Will have structures, such as stages or marquees over 100m2?
  • Will have amusements and / or inflatable devices?
  • Does your event restrict vehicle OR pedestrian traffic on a legal road (e.g. street, roads, cycleway, paths and squares)?
  • Will Impact the local community or the environment in any way outside of the private property the event is held on.

Information on booking a public Space.

The Ashburton District has a wide range of parks, reserves and other public spaces that can be utilised for a variety of events and activities. However, to manage these resources on behalf of the wider community, those responsible for planning and delivering the event (the event organiser), must apply to the Council for a permit to use the public space (event venue).  See a full list of fees and charges here

Frequently Asked Questions

A. Before an event permit can be issued, you’ll need to complete additional documentation if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Traffic Management: For events with significant impact on the public, park grounds, traffic, or the environment, a Traffic Management plan must be submitted to ADC for approval. Processing time can range from 4 to 10 weeks.
  • Emergency Management: Events assessed as above ‘low impact’ or ‘small’ require an emergency management plan alongside the event application. You can find an example here.
  • Public Liability Insurance: If your event occurs on public land and is assessed as above ‘low impact’ or ‘small,’ proof of public liability insurance is necessary.
  • Health And Safety: As an event organiser, it is your responsibility to ensure the event activities are managed in a safe way for anyone working onsite and for the public attending the event. Please read this guidance for more information before submitting your event application. The ADC Events team can provide example templates for contractor induction forms and accident/incident registers upon request.
  • Alcohol Sale: If you plan to sell alcohol, apply for a special license at least 20 working days before your event. Details here. 
  • Amusement / Inflatable Devices: For events on council/public land with amusement or inflatable devices, submit an application at least 10 working days before the event. Detail here.
  • Building Consents/ Temporary Structures: Temporary structures (e.g., tents, marquees, scaffolding, stages over 1 meter) may require a temporary building consent from the council. Apply to The Building Team for further details.
  • Food Safety/ Vendors: All vendors must hold the required permits under the Trading in Public Places Bylaw 2022. If your event has food vendors or market stalls, please provide their relevant details on this template , along with your application. Details here.
  • Fireworks / Pyrotechnics: Events that wish to use pyrotechnics or fireworks will need to apply for consent. Please talk to your Events Advisor for more information once your application is submitted.
  • Waste Management: As part of your event application, you might need to submit a waste management plan. Consider ways to reduce landfill waste. Your events advisor can assist with solutions. Find more information on waste reduction here.
  • Other: Please also be aware that there may be other licences or legal requirements for the operation of your activity that Council does not administer and provide authorisation for.


  • All Park/Reserve bylaws displayed at this site must be complied with.
  • All litter generated by your activity is to be removed from the site.
  • Pedestrian access must be maintained at the site at all times. This includes having clear thoroughfares and not blocking path ways, entrances and exits to the site.
  • All directions issued by parks rangers, authorised Council officers or members of the NZ Police must be followed at all times.
  • Only essential vehicles are allowed to remain on site during events and at some sites vehicles are not permitted, or not permitted during certain times. Rain and Inclement Weather:
  • The possibility of inclement weather needs to be taken into account.
  • Council does not provide wet weather alternative arrangements and marquees cannot be set up at late notice.
  • Please be aware that vehicle access onto parks or reserves is subject to prior consent of the Area Park Contract Manager. However, we recommend you prepare and keep in mind a contingency plan for alternative arrangements in case of wet weather where the approval of vehicle access onto Council Parks is automatically void.

Fenced Areas: Fences are still buildings under the Building Act definitions but are exempt as of right from consent providing the height is less than 2.5m. However, the provisions of the fire clauses of the building code still apply: the requirement is that there be a 'safe route out’ that is compliant with the Building Code for a totally fenced area.


  • At an “event” where alcohol is sold and/or supplied.
  • This includes ticketed events where alcohol is supplied.
  • Licenced premises where sale/supply falls outside of usual or regular activities or hours of the premises
  • A manufacturer, distributor or importer of alcohol products is selling alcohol at an event (e.g. a market)


  • In general BYO is permitted at private functions such as weddings and birthdays.
  • For other events BYO may be unlawful. Unfortunately, a special licence does not allow for BYO alcohol at an event. If you are holding an event where people are paying for entry (e.g. by ticket or donation) and you want to supply alcohol, please contact the Alcohol Licensing Team to discuss your options.
  • If you are going to have a cash bar at your event you will need a special licence.


  • If you plan to operate unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs or 'drones') during your event, you must apply for consent with Ashburton District Council. See more information here.
  • to fly them above any Council-owned land, park, or facility at least 10 days prior to the event. The intent is to better manage the safety risks of drones (UAVs).
  • All flights within controlled airspace must ask permission from the Airways Corporation and if flying within 4km of an uncontrolled aerodrome, check with the aerodrome owners.
  • It is unlikely to get consent from Council to fly an RPAS if you wish to fly where events are taking place unless CAA have approved the activity and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Rules 102 are complied with.

A. Anytime there is an organised fireworks display where the public is present, the event organiser is required to apply for consent. You will need to provide the following:

  • A site plan outlining the proposed area for the Fireworks display and fenced exclusion zone must be provided.
  • A detailed list of all fireworks to be used must be provided.
  • You must obtain Fire Service Approval and provide the written approval to the Events Partnerships & Development Advisor.
  • You must provide the Events Advisor with a copy of the HSNO Test certificate for the Pyro Display prior to the event.
  • A resource consent may be required for some ADC and public locations.
  • More information:


  • TMPs are required for all activities that vary the normal operating condition of the road, legal road is from boundary to boundary, irrespective of whether the activity is on a carriageway, footpath, or adjacent to the road.
  • TMPs are also needed for activities outside the legal road, which will affect the normal operating conditions of the road.
  • A Traffic Management Plan (TMP) is a document describing the nature and extent of temporary traffic management and how all road users will be managed by the use of temporary traffic management measures.  TMPs detail the measures to ensure safety for all people involved in the activity.
  • Activities such as Concerts, Community Fairs attracting large numbers of attendees (1000+), Community gatherings in public spaces that impact legal road, including a footpath or carriageway, Attractions on or near a road are all situations that would require a TMP.
  • Other activities that may require a TMP are; Pack in / Pack out of an event, work on a boundary fence that requires works to be undertaken from outside the property boundary, or work that requires multiple deliveries to a site causing congestion on adjacent roadway.
  • Please contact the Roading Team for all questions regarding TMP’s. Reminder: If your event requires a road closure, you must submit a letter to the ADC Roading Team requesting the closure, 10 weeks prior to the event.

A. When holding an event on public or council land, you will need to provide your own waste management solution. It’s important to note that any existing council infrastructure in place is only suitable for casual use of the space and is not suitable to support crowds of people.

There are many providers that assist In waste management for events in the district. Think about ways to minimize what ends up in landfill, this is key to helping reduce your environmental impact and waste saving measures such as recycling may help reduce your operating costs.


It is the event organiser’s responsibility to provide adequate toilet facilities to event patrons and the public, and to maintain these toilets in a clean and stocked condition for the duration of the event. Your site plan must show the location and number of public toilets and disabled facilities being provided for your event. The number of toilets you will need to provide will depend on anticipated crowd numbers, patron gender (women generally require more facilities than men do), whether there is service of alcohol and the event duration. Disabled toilets must be available, and all facilities must be well lit to avoid security and safety hazards, provided with soap and hand drying equipment and must be cleaned and re-stocked regularly.


The figures in the previous two tables may be reduced as follows for events of shorter duration:


Please note: some council spaces are only equipped with facilities adequate for casual use. The events team may advise the need for additional toilet facilities to be put in place depending on the size of your event.


  • Small fundraising events on council / public land require an event permit.
  • If you are planning to have a casual BBQ or a sausage sizzle at your event as a fundraiser (not-for-profit purpose), please read the Ministry’s advice on fundraising and community events here.
  • Only gas barbecues are permitted within all Ashburton District parks.
  • For clarification on food licencing and requirements, see more details here.


  • Registration NOT REQUIRED if you’re selling food:
    • to raise funds for a charity, cultural or community group less than 20 times a year
    • provided by members of sports clubs, social clubs or marae – where food is not the purpose of the event.
    • Proof of food handling training may be required for some event applications, depending on your events scope. You Event Advisor can assist in assessing this for you.
  • Registration REQUIRED if you’re selling food:
    • fundraising more than 20 times a year
    • catering events at clubs, or selling food at club bars or restaurants
    • bartering or exchanging food commercially
    • selling food commercially at fairs, markets, or community events more than once a year.
  • Minimum application period: 14 working days prior to the event


If someone is injured or their property is damaged during an event, legal action may be taken against the organising body to recover losses or for damages. Public liability insurance is designed to help protect you by ensuring that if this does happen, you have adequate cover to fund any successful claim. Council requires events to have Public Liability Insurance according to the following:

  • No public liability insurance required - Events with less than 500 people, NO infrastructure or vehicles on the grounds (BBQ allowed) (NO fireworks)
  • Over $1m public liability insurance required - Events with less than 500 people, light infrastructure i.e. ezi-ups, small stages, trailers
  • Over $2m public liability insurance required - All other events with over 500 people and/or significant infrastructure including anything with more than 15cm long pegs/stakes.

The insurance must be in the legal organisation name or governing body. The event organiser must ensure that the insurance provides coverage for the specific event location and activity. A copy of a current Public Liability Insurance Certificate must accompany the application and final approval will not be given until it is received.


Event emergency plans should address the same basic requirements, to:

  • get people away from immediate danger
  • providing first aid and medical assistance
  • summon and assist emergency services
  • onsite emergency response, i.e. use of fire extinguishers
  • handle casualties
  • deal with the displaced / non-injured (e.g. at a festival with camping)
  • liaise with the emergency services and other authorities (and, where the situation is serious, hand over responsibility for the incident / emergency)
  • traffic management, including emergency vehicles
  • providing first aid and medical assistance
  • incident control
  • protect property Evacuation Procedures: What will happen in an evacuation, who will do it and how will people know what to do? Procedures for staff and volunteers to follow in an evacuation should include:
  • raising the alarm and informing the public
  • summoning the emergency services
  • crowd management, including evacuation, where necessary – may be a full evacuation of event site or partial evacuation of site
  • evacuation meeting point
  • evacuation of people with disabilities
  • liaison with emergency services

See an example emergency Management Plan here.

A. You can submit your event listing to the team at Experience Mid Canterbury. Click here for details

View the Ashburton District Council Events