Letter to alcohol licensees regarding renewal timelines

The below memo was sent to all South Wairarapa alcohol licensees on 27 June 2016 regarding timeframes for renewal of licences.  

SUBJECT:              Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 - Timelines for renewal of licence

As Chief Licencing Inspector, I am writing to remind all alcohol licensees of their responsibilities under the legislation, but in particular, the need to submit renewal applications well prior to the licence expiry date.

If the renewal process is left too late by a licence holder and an existing licence expires before a decision to approve the renewal has been made, then the licence holder must cease trading. The provisions of the Act mean that no extension can be granted where a “late” application is lodged and outruns the term of licence. 

In that regard, Section 127(2) (b) of the Act requires applications to be lodged a minimum of 20 working days prior to the expiry of the licence. If this is done, then a renewal of licence should in the normal course of events, be issued in time, dependent of course, on the application having been completed and submitted correctly.

Council, when acting as the District’s licencing authority, has currently chosen to send out not one, but two reminder letters to all licensees that they need to commence the renewal process.

Even so there have been recent cases where a licence holder, for whatever reason, has not responded to these reminders and lodged an application for a renewal. This has resulted in the loss of their licence.

In the future, if a licence holder fails to apply early enough, the DLC will not be in a position to do anything to overcome this type of situation.

The reminders which will continue to be sent out, are issued at 3 months and 2 months prior to the licence expiry date.  It is in a licence holder’s best interest to action renewal applications immediately after they have received the first reminder letter.

Finally I wish to advise that the DLC will no longer accept renewal applications that are within the 20 working day statutory requirements for processing. Licensees should be aware that Council must receive a complete application, before the 20 working day deadline.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 is freely available online by searching the NZ legislation website: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/

Yours faithfully

Shane Sykes

Chief Licensing Inspector