On, off and club licences

A premises licence allows you to sell and supply alcohol on the premises.

There are three types of premises licence:

  • On-Licence
  • Off-Licence; and
  • Club Licence


An on-licence allows you to sell and supply alcohol for consumption at the specified licensed premises, ie. hotel bars, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, cafes or BYO premises. The area specified as licensed is defined on plans provided and may include outside areas. Under Council's Local Alcohol Policy 2017, the maximum trading hours are:

  • Tavern (including hotel bars) - 7.00am - 2.00am
  • Restaurant or cafe - 7.00am - 1.00am

This means on-licences will only be granted for trading within these hours. Council also has a One-Way Door Policy which applies to the Ashburton urban area (as per the map in the Local Alcohol Policy).

Download an On-Licence application form


An off-licence allows the sale, supply or delivery of alcohol for consumption elsewhere off the premises. An off-licence does not permit alcohol to be served. Examples of off-licence premises include; bottle stores, supermarket/grocery stores, and remote sales (eg. online sales). Under the Council's Local Alcohol Policy 2017, the maximum trading hours for all types of premises are 7.00am - 9.30pm

Download an Off-Licence application form

Club Licence

A club licence allows for the sale and supply of alcohol for consumption in the club premises to members of the club, their guests and members of clubs with reciprocal visiting rights. Examples of club licence premises include: sports clubs, Returned Services Association (RSA), workingmen's clubs and social clubs. Club licence hours are at the discretion of the District Licensing Committee (DLC). Under Council's Local Alcohol Policy 2017, the recommended maximum trading hours are:

  • Sunday to Thursday - 10.00am - 10.00pm
  • Friday to Saturday - 9.00am - 12.00am (midnight)

Applications for hours outside the recommended maximum will be assessed by the DLC.

Download a Club Licence application form

Temporary Authority

A temporary authority to operate can be obtained for an existing premises that currently has an on or off-licence if the premises has been sold. If you purchase an existing licensed business and wish to continue selling alcohol, you may apply for a temporary authority to operate until your own licence has been granted. A temporary authority is valid for a maximum period of three months and will only be issued if the existing licence for the premises is still valid.

Download a Temporary Authority application form

Other consents/approvals

You may need consent or approval from other parts of Ashburton District Council or from other agencies because an alcohol license from Council doesn't cover other legislation that might apply. Some other things you might need to consider are:

  • Building Consent from Council (for things like  doing works to the building, changing the use or increasing the numbers of visitors)
  • Resource Consent (which considers things like; the zone, the hours you want to open and any likely impact on neighbours)


A licence is initially issued for a 12-month period and then is usually renewed every three years after that.  Council may send you a renewal application form to remind you that your licence is due to expire.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your renewal is lodged in time.

The application is then referred to the Licensing Inspector, Police and Medical Officer of Health and if there are no matters raised in opposition, the District Licensing Committee (DLC) will renew your licence.  If there are any matters raised in opposition, it will be considered by the full DLC at a hearing.  You will be invited to any DLC hearing.

Download an On Licence renewal application form

Download an Off Licence renewal application form

Download a Club Licence renewal application form

Licence fees

Licence fees are based on a risk assessment of the premises. The type of premise, maximum hours and number of endorsements will be considered when establishing the fee for a particular premise.

The assessment uses national methodology to ensure all premises throughout the country are assessed in the same way.

View the alcohol licensing fees and charges

Objections to licence applications

Persons wishing to object to an application for a licence for a premises must ensure that their objection meets the criteria in the Act, and is received at Council within the 15 day objection period. Objections must be in writing.

Learn more about making an objection and view current applications