Role and meetings

The Council's District Licensing Committees (DLCs) are responsible for making alcohol licensing decisions in Wellington city.

Terms of reference and meetings

For information about the committees' terms of reference, meetings schedule and minutes, see:

Meetings - District Licensing Committee

Role of reporting agencies

The Council's licensing inspectors, the NZ Police and the Medical Officer of Health are also involved in the alcohol licensing process. These agencies inquire into licence applications, and prepare reports that are submitted to DLCs for consideration along with the application.

Licensing inspectors

Licensing inspectors must inquire into and report on all applications. Inspectors are appointed by the Council, and must look into:

  • suitability of applicants
  • employment of certified managers
  • host responsibility practices
  • issues around operating hours
  • proposed use and designation of the premises.

Inspectors also monitor licensed premises for compliance with the Act.


The police receive a copy of all licence applications. Background checks for convictions and immigration status are completed on the individuals, members of partnerships, directors, and shareholders of the applicant company.

The police also monitor all licensed premises on an ongoing basis to ensure they comply with the Act.

Medical Officer of Health

In Wellington, the Medical Officer of Health (MoH) is represented by the Regional Public Health Service at Hutt Hospital. The MoH reports on club, off-licence, on-licence and special licence applications and renewals. The MoH reviews host responsibility policies and enforces the Smoke-Free Environments Act 1990, as well as monitoring licensed premises for compliance with the Act and host responsibility practices.

Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority

The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) is the national regulatory and appeal authority for alcohol licensing.

ARLA considers and determines:

  • appeals against DLC decisions
  • applications lodged by the police or licensing inspectors to suspend or cancel licences or managers' certificates
  • applications for licences and managers’ certificates referred by DLCs

ARLA also provides guidance and direction to DLCs.

More information on ARLA is available at:

Ministry of Justice - ARLA