Attend a public hearing, Kaipara District Council

Attend a public hearing

A District Licensing Committee Hearing is a legal process similar to a Court Hearing, but with a Chairperson and a panel of appointed members instead of a Judge. 

Hearings are reasonably formal, similar to a District Court, to ensure applications are dealt with consistently and fairly and all parties are given a fair opportunity to present their views.

Licensing Committee Members for the Kaipara District are:

Chairperson - Mark Farnsworth
Committee member - Grace Le Gros
Committee member - Amy Munn
Committee member - Councillor Gordon Lambeth
Committee member - Murray Clearwater

Who will know about your objection?

We are required to forward a copy of all objections and reports to the alcohol licence applicant. This includes your personal and contact details. Applicants are entitled to know the basis of any objections so they can consider whether to amend their proposal, continue with their application or prepare a response to the objections. Some applicants may invite objectors or members of the public to a meeting to discuss concerns raised.

What happens to your objection?

1. Your objection is acknowledged and assessed
You will be sent an acknowledgement when we receive your objection – this will go to the name and address supplied.

Your objection will be assessed to make sure it meets the criteria for consideration, i.e. that you have an interest greater than the general public and that your grounds for objection meet the criteria.

2. A date and time for a public hearing is arranged
Alcohol licence applications which have been objected to will be considered at a Public Hearing of the District Licensing Committee. You will be advised of the hearing date, time and location. If your objection is in the form of a petition, we will notify the petition spokesperson.

3. At the public hearing
Any of the following people may appear and be heard, whether personally or by counsel, and call, examine, or cross-examine witnesses: the applicant, an objector, an inspector, a constable or a Medical Officer of Health.

The applicant or their solicitor speaks

The hearing will usually start with the alcohol licence applicant or the applicant's solicitor making their case, giving evidence and calling witnesses in support of the application. Witnesses can speak in support of the application.

The Committee may have questions for the applicant and witnesses (if any).

Reporting agencies speak

​The Chairman will invite the reporting agencies and any objectors to ask questions.

The Police, the Medical Officer of Health and the Alcohol Licensing Inspector, if presenting evidence at the hearing, will be sworn in before presenting their evidence. They may be asked questions from the Committee and then by the applicant and objectors.

Objectors speak

​Next, the objectors have their say. It is not compulsory for objectors to attend or speak at the hearing; however the committee may gain a better understanding of the objection if an objector attends the Hearing to speak about their concerns.

They will be sworn in before talking about their objection – in person or through a representative. At the hearing objectors cannot introduce new grounds for objecting but can present evidence to support the reasons why there is an objection to the licence application.

Objectors can also call witnesses to support their objection. The chairman or committee members, the applicant, the Police, Medical Officer of Health and the Licensing Inspector can ask questions of the objectors to clarify their concerns.

Applicant's right of reply

The applicant has a right of reply, to comment on any matters that come up at the hearing and to briefly sum of their case. No new evidence may be introduced at this state.

4. After the hearing
When the hearing is finished, the committee may reserve its decision. This means it will meet after the hearing to consider the material presented at the hearing, and write the decision. It may take a number of weeks for the decision to be issued. Decisions are also published on our website once they are finalised.[BH1] 

A decision takes effect on the date stated on the decision (or, if no date is stated, on the date the decision is given).

5. Appeals
Any party to any proceedings before a licensing committee who is dissatisfied with the decision or any part of the decision may appeal to the Licensing Authority against the decision or any part of the decision (refer to ss. 154 & 204(3) of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012).

An appeal must be lodged with the Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority within ten (10) working days after the decision was supplied.

Guidelines for public hearings

  • All attendees are to be addressed formally, i.e. not by their first name but Mr Smith, Sergeant Smith etc.
  • This is a formal process, therefore when speaking to the District Licensing Committee, all questions and answers are to be put through the Chair with the Chairman being addressed as Mr Chairman.
  • The Committee Advisor will announce that the hearing is about to commence and everyone stands as the Committee comes into the room. The Chairman asks everyone to sit down.
  • Swearing in - Speakers are required to be sworn in either by oath (on the bible) or by affirmation.
  • When speaking, submitters should relate directly to their submission already presented. They may present further testimony in the form of a prepared statement that summarises the information and arguments in their submission. They may also speak from notes. If it is in the form of a prepared statement that is to be read, it should be filed pre-hearing to the Committee Advisor who will serve copies on other parties. A suggestion is to have at least ten copies available to be distributed.
  • If special arrangements are needed for submissions, e.g. electronic presentations, the Committee Advisor should be contacted at least three days in advance.


Fire exit
​In the event of a fire, everyone should exit through the Fire Exit Door situated south west of Chambers and assemble at the Civic Centre Car Park.

​These are situated to the right as you enter the main building foyer.

​Reserved seating will be available for those who will be speaking. Public seating is also available.

Cell phones
​Must be turned off during the hearing.

More information

Please contact the Kaipara Alcohol Licensing team via email