Outdoor seating

If you want to use a footpath or public property for outdoor seating for patrons of your bar, restaurant, café, club or gaming venue, you must apply to the Council for a Pavement Permission.

How to apply

Complete the application form and prepare the supporting information. Send it to us with the application fee.

Apply online

Or download the print form: Application for permission to use the footpath (1.53MB PDF)

Supporting information

You'll need to provide:

  • a scale plan of your proposal which clearly shows where your tables and chairs would be placed in relation to the kerb and the front of your premises (see the application form for more detail about what to show on your plan)
  • a certificate of insurance which shows that you hold Public Liability insurance of at least $1 million for any outdoor area you plan to use. 

For more information about pavement lease rules or drawing a scale plan see: Supplementary footpath information (222KB PDF)

Termporary licences for hospitality businesses

We are currently offering temporary pavement licences for hospitality businesses, free of charge. This licence will enable you to use the pavement area outside your business for outdoor dining.

You need a footpath permission if you intend to place outdoor furniture or objects on public land outside your shop front. You do not need a licence to place furniture or objects within private property but you need permission from the property owner.

Sandwich boards are not part of Pavement Permissions and are licenced separately. For more information, see: Rules about signs and posters.

Apply for a temporary licence

Application for temporary permission to use the footpath (116KB PDF)

If you would like to discuss your options before you apply, please email us at: outdoordining@wcc.govt.nz

Alternatively, please complete the application form. Once we receive your email or application we will contact you to discuss your options.

Please note these areas must be smokefree. Also, due to current legislative restrictions you will not be able to serve alcohol to your customers sitting in this area.

Eligibility criteria

How to lodge your application

You can give us your application:

  • in person:
    Wellington City Council Service Centre, 12 Manners Street
  • by post:
    Public Health
    Wellington City Council
    PO Box 2199
    Wellington 6140
  • by email: foodapplications@wcc.govt.nz

Fees

Fee changes due to COVID-19

As part of the Council’s Pandemic Response Plan, our fees will be changing from Tuesday 1 March 2022 to 28 February 2023.

  • If you hold a pavement license, and have already paid your annual licensing fee, you will be refunded the full amount – or you can carry that payment over to cover next year’s annual fee, which kicks in on 1 July 2022.
  • We are enabling businesses to use on-street parking spaces for mainly used as outdoor dining areas – also known as parklets. If you want to apply for an outdoor dining permit, this parklet license will be free. Find out more about applying for a parklet.

Please be aware that due to COVID-19, there will be some delays. The team are responding as fast as we can so, please bear with us. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

If you would like to get in touch with someone from our team, please contact outdoordining@wcc.govt.nz

Lease fees

All fees include GST.

Item Fee
To apply for a new lease or change one you already have $190.00
To renew an existing lease 
(pavement leases must be renewed on 1 July every year)
$95.00
Pavement lease central $90.00 per square metre
Pavement lease suburb $58.50 per square metre

Smokefree

Smoke-free indoors is mandatory

The Smoke-free Environments Amendment Act 2003 requires hospitality venues (bars, clubs, restaurants, cafés, casinos and gaming machine venues) to be smoke-free indoors.

Smoke-free outdoors is optional

If you want to provide an area for smokers, it has to be outdoors - either on your own property or in a public area. You can choose whether you make your outdoor area smoke-free.

Smoke-free Law in NZ - Ministry of Health

If you go smokefree, outdoor dining licences are free

Clearly display your pavement permission

You must display your pavement permission next to the seating area so it can be viewed from outside your venue. All permissions have an aerial photograph clearly showing the allowable area.

Displaying your permission will help patrons, staff and enforcement agencies to:

  • keep pedestrian areas clear
  • make sure all venues and patrons comply with the central area liquor ban.

Central City Liquor Ban

Renewals

All Pavement Permissions are issued for a period of 1 year (1 July to 30 June). Annual fees include the renewal fee and a lease charge for the space.

The Council will send you a reminder before the permission expires.

Contact us

If you would like to get in touch with someone from our team, please contact outdoordining@wcc.govt.nz

Please be aware that due to COVID-19, there will be some delays. The team are responding as fast as we can so, please bear with us. Thank you for your patience and understanding.