The Agencies

There are five agencies that are responsible for ensuring administering Alcohol Licensing matters, which are:


Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA)

The ARLA comprises a District Court Judge as the Chairperson and usually one or two other members. Their main functions are:

  • To consider and determine applications for on, off and club licences (new, renewal or variations) and managers' certificates referred by District Licensing Committee;
  • Any appeals arising from decisions of District Licensing Committees;
  • Appeals against elements of a Local Alcohol Policy;
  • Applications for variation, suspension or cancellation of on, off or club licences and managers' certificates from the Police or a Licensing Inspector



District Licensing Committee (DLC)

The DLC (previously the District Licensing Agency) is a committee of Queenstown Lakes District Council, which consist of a Chairperson and two members selected from an appointed list.

The current DLC members are:

Edward William Unwin – Chairperson

Lyal Cocks – Member

John Mann – Member

The DLC determine opposed and unopposed applications for new and renewal on, off, club and special licences, in addition to managers' certificates and temporary authority applications.

The DLC can (with permission from ARLA) refer an application to ARLA for determination.


Licensing Inspector

The Licensing inspector’s principal functions are to report on all applications for new licences and managers certificates and renewals to the DLC or ARLA.

An inspector also carries out regular monitoring of licensed premise’s to assess compliance with a licence conditions and the Act.

Only the licensing inspector (or police) has the power of entry to any licensed premises at any reasonable time to assess compliance with the Act and the licence conditions.

The licensing inspector and the police have the ability to issue infringements.

Contact the Alcohol Licensing Inspector

Contact the Alcohol Licensing Inspector to discuss anything relating to the sale of alcohol, phone 03 441 0499 (Queenstown) or 03 443 0024 (Wanaka).


The Police

The Police must enquire into all alcohol licence and managers certificate applications and to provide a report within 15 working days. They must also monitor licensed premises to ensure compliance with the Act. The Police have the power of entry to any licensed premises at any reasonable time or at any time if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence is being committed.

In addition, the Police can order the closure of a licensed premise in the case of riot or fighting and can issue infringement notices for a variety of new offences under the Act.


Medical Officer of Health

The Medical Officer of Health (MoH) has a new statutory role to inquire into all licence (new and renewal) applications and to provide a report within 15 working days (as have the police).

The Medical Officer of Health may also enquire into special licence applications, with a particular focus on wider public health aspects e.g. potable water availability at events.