News & Events

Draft local alcohol policy open for submissions

Friday September 4 2020

After previous consultations, the draft local alcohol policy 2020 opens for public feedback on Saturday 5 September. The policy outlines proposed restrictions on issuing licences for the sale and supply of alcohol in Palmerston North.

“Council consulted in 2019 on an earlier version of this policy,” says Mayor Grant Smith. “We considered all the submissions we received and following that Council made changes to the draft policy. We’re now consulting with the community again.”

The three significant changes to the earlier draft policy are:

  • more restrictive trading hours for off-licensed premises (such as bottle stores and supermarkets)
  • changes to the maximum trading hours for on-licensed premises (taverns, hotels and class 1 restaurants can trade until 3am, while other on-licensed premises, including function centres, can trade until 1am)
  • mandatory one-way door restriction for all on-licensed premises trading after 2am.

“We strongly encourage anyone with interest in the draft policy to make a written submission before the closing date of 9 October.”There are three types of licences: on-licences, off-licences, and club licences. The table below outlines how the policy proposes to change the maximum trading hours for a licensed premise.

Licence type

Earliest opening hour

Latest closing hour


Hotels, taverns, and class 1 restaurants (with a bar area operated as a tavern)

8am 3am the following day
All other on-licensed premises (including class 2 and 3 restaurants and cafes, function centres, cinemas, and theatres) 8am 1am the following day


All off-licences (eg, bottle stores, supermarkets and grocery stores)

7am 9pm

Club licences

All club licensed premises (eg, RSAs, sports clubs)

8am midnight

The mandatory one-way door restriction will affect every on-licensed premises in Palmerston North trading after 2am. This means after 2am, people cannot enter or re-enter a licensed premise.

The statement of proposal, which includes the full draft local alcohol policy is available online at

People can collect printed copies from our Customer Service Centre or any of our libraries or call 06 356 8199 to have a copy mailed.

Submissions close at 4pm, Friday 9 October.

Submissions can be completed online, emailed, or complete a form available at the Customer Service Centre or city libraries. People can also call 356 8199 to have their submission recorded. Written submissions can be hand-delivered to the Customer Service Centre.

Council will consider oral and written submissions at hearings in November 2020.

Once the Council has adopted the draft policy, appeals can still be made to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority. However, only those people who have made a written submission on the draft local alcohol policy 2020 can appeal.