If you're holding an event this summer and need a special licence to sell alcohol, make sure to plan ahead and apply as soon as possible.
A special licence is required for events or social gatherings where alcohol will be sold. It can also be used to extend the hours of a licensed premise.
Ashburton District Council Group Manager Environmental Services, Jane Donaldson, says people often leave it too late to apply for a special licence.
Under the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, all applications for a special licence must be made at least 20 working days before the event is to be held.
Council is required to provide the Medical Officer of Health and Police with a copy of all applications and allow them 15 working days to report. A 'working day' excludes weekends, statutory holidays or any day from 20 December to 15 January.
"Lodging your application as early as possible will help us to process your application in time for your event," she said.
The timelines for processing and issuing special licence applications mean that applications for events planned for January should be lodged by now and for February events should be with the Council before 18 December.
Mrs Donaldson says if applications are made by 18 December they will not be charged the new higher application fee.