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Supporting the Black Caps this weekend

What you need to know about bar and restaurant licensing this Sunday

Published: 12 July 2019

Congratulations to the Black Caps for their stunning win over India to make the Cricket World Cup final. Like all cricket fans, Auckland Council is keen to watch the Kiwis take on the English at Lord’s this Sunday night.

Craig Hobbs, director Regulatory Services, says the council appreciates some Aucklanders will want to watch the match at a bar or club.

“There has been some talk about getting our pubs and bars to stay open for the entire night. Unfortunately, this is not possible given the time frames we are working with,” Mr Hobbs says.

The council has the following advice. The first ball will be bowled at 9.30pm NZ time. Many bars in Auckland are licensed until 4am but bars can have patrons on their premises for up to half an hour after their licensed hours finish, so long as they stop serving alcohol at 4am.

You can also cheer the team on at a licensed sports club. These clubs can have members and their guests on the premises at all times. While they can’t sell alcohol beyond their licensed hours, once their bar has closed people can drink their own BYO alcohol, so long as they don’t drink it while the bar is open and remember the importance of drinking responsibly.

While restaurants can have patrons on their premises at all times, they can’t allow the sale and consumption of alcohol beyond their licensed hours.

“All councils in New Zealand are bound by the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. We are unable to offer a blanket extension to the licences of pubs and bars without going through the due process. This involves multiple agencies to agree to the decision including the Police, the District Licensing Committee and the Medical Officer of Health.”

If the District Licensing Committee were to accept a late application it still needs to be reported on by the Police, the Medical Officer of Health and the council’s licensing inspector before going back to the Committee to approve or decline. 

This process usually takes 20 working days, at a stretch we have been able to achieve a one-off Special Licence in five working days. We have discussed trying to grant extensions in the two-days available since the Black Caps thrilling win in Manchester but it is not possible, or necessarily safe given the complexities of alcohol in our community.

“The council also has to consider the potential flow-on effects on having more pubs and bars serving alcohol for longer, including the impact on police resources on Sunday night and Monday morning, and public transport for the start of the working week.”

Apply early for licence extensions

We actively encourage licensed premises, especially with the Rugby World Cup starting in September, to make applications early when there are large sporting events on, even if we can’t predict the outcome. The cost of the application is not restrictive and starts at $64 for events of less than 100 patrons.

For people that would rather stay home and enjoy the match, the council applauds the moves by Prime to broadcast the entire match live and free to air.


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