Environmental Health & Liquor Licensing FAQs
- How do I get a Manages Certificate?
- What Licence do I need to sell liquor?
- What do I need to do to start a food business?
1. How do I get a Manages Certificate?
Before a Managers certificate can be issued you will need to provide a letter of employment from you current employer. This must be a licensed premise. The Liquor Licensing Authority view managers certificates as working documents and should not be issued to simply add to a CV. You must also provide evidence that you have a current work permit. For applicants who do not have 6 months experience in a licensed premises in New Zealand, their application will be put on hold until 6 months has been gained. The following
You must attend (as pass) the Licence Controller Qualification course. Current providers in the Queenstown Lakes District are Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) 0800 784 748, Otago Polytechnic 4459900 and the Liquor Licensing Bureau 03-442 0274.
Then apply for a Mangers Certificate. Please ensure you use the checklist on the application, as incomplete applications will be not be accepted.
Once your application has been received, a copy will be sent to the Police and you will be contacted for an interview. The purpose of the interview is to ensure that you have the knowledge in the Sale of Liquor Act and fully understand the role of a Duty Manager.
If your manager’s certificate has expired it cannot be renewed and you will need to apply for a new manager’s certificate.
If there is no opposition to your application (by the Police or Liquor Licensing Inspector) and you have passed the interview your certificate will be issued for 1 year.
- A renewal Managers Certificate after this first year can be issued for up to 3 years thereafter.
- If your Managers Certificate has expired it cannot be renewed and you must apply for a new Managers Certificate.
- If you hold a certificate from another district but are now working in the Queenstown area you should renew your certificate at Lakes Environmental.
2. What Licence do I need to sell liquor?
The Sale of Liquor Act 1989 requires that everyone who sells liquor has a licence. The overall aim is to reduce liquor abuse. The type of licence you need depends on what you are doing.
On-Licence – for bars, restaurants and cafes, BYO restaurants and anywhere that sells alcohol to be consumed on the premises. All on-licences need to have food available on the premises at all times. Under the Queenstown Lakes District Liquor Policy on-licences outside the Queenstown CBD can have the maximum trading hours of 7.00am until 2.30am the following day, those within the CBD can trade from 7.00am until 4.00am the following day. The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) has issued several decisions stating that restaurants may only trade until 1.30am. (All times listed above are subject to resource consent conditions).
Off-Licence - for bottles stores, on-line stores, supermarkets selling alcohol, caterers and cellar doors, this type of licence is where alcohol is sold with the intention that is taken away to be consumed off the premise. Under the Queenstown Lakes Liquor Policy off-licences can have the maximum trading hours of 7.00am until Midnight (these hours are subject the resource consent conditions).
Temporary Authority – if you are thinking about taking over a premises that currently holds an on or off licence you will need to get a temporary authority before you can trade. A temporary authority allows the current licence to be transferred into the new owners name for up to 3 months. During this 3 month period the new owner must apply for a new licence in their own name.
Club Licence – this is for any club that is registered as an incorporated society. You will also need to employ someone with a General Managers certificate or Club Managers certificate.
Special Licence – this is needed where
- An event is being held in a place that is not licensed e.g. a park or community hall
- The event will run outside the licensed premises current hours.
Anyone can apply for a special licence, but must demonstrate that an event is taking place, and it will be managed in a responsible way. In general special licences will need to have a certified manager. If you are attending an event where you will be selling liquor please contact the event organiser first.
For on and off licences the licensee must employ an adequate number of staff who hold a General Managers certificate (PDF, 195KB). To obtain a general managers certificate you must:
- Attend the LCQ course the providers in the QLDC area are SIT 0800 784 748, Otago Polytechnic 4459900, Liquor Licensing Bureau 03-442 0274.
- Once you have completed the course you can apply for your managers certificate. Fill in the attached form and return to Lakes Environmental, ensure you have attached all the additional information listed on the front page.
3. What do I need to do to start a food business?
All premises that sell food to the public need to be registered. In the Queenstown Lakes District food premises registration runs from the 1st October until 30th September each year. Each premise is inspected annually by an Environmental Health Officer. Food premises involved in food service i.e. cafes and restaurants, can use and register a Food Control Plan.
If you are taking over an existing premises and do not intend to make any changes you simply need to fill in a transfer of registration form (PDF, 35KB). This should be completed within 14 days of taking over the business. Before buying a new business we advise you to seek a Land Information Memorandum (LIM).
To register a new food premises you will need to meet the requirements of the food hygiene regulations. In general all surfaces need to be smooth, durable, easy to clean and waterproof. You will also need to have a dedicated wash hand basin and additional sinks for cleaning. You should submit your registration certificate as early as possible, this will allow an Environmental Health Officer time to assess your plans and provide you with feedback to ensure the premises will meet the requirements of the regulations.
The home kitchen cannot be registered for preparing food to the public. If food is prepared in the home for sale to the public it must be a separate kitchen that is used solely for the food business. There are some exemptions for charitable organisations regarding this requirement, please speak with an Environmental Health Officer for further details.
A new premises or if you are making changes to an existing premises then you should speak with the duty planner to check is a resource consent is needed and a building officer as a building consent may be required.
Before opening a new food premises an Environmental Health Officer will need to carry out an inspection.