Permits, consents and other things you might need to consider

The Hurunui District Council (HDC) loves events and wants event planners to run successful events.

The secret to running a successful event is early planning and good communication. HDC recommends you contact them as soon as you have the idea for your event to allow time to identify whether your event requires any permits or consents. For example, if you plan to sell alcohol at your event you’ll need an alcohol licence. Processing licence applications does take time, and that’s why HDC recommends event organisers contact them when you begin planning.


Let’s get started…

There are certain aspects of events that do require special permission from HDC. If your event:

  • offers food or alcohol
  • increases traffic to a specific area, affects other vehicles or pedestrians or closes a road
  • has a stage or marquee
  • will have amplified sound
  • is open to the public or
  • will be held on Council land

The first thing you should do is fill out this Event Application Form and email it to

You can also download this Event Planning Brochure about event planning from the HDC website.

Communication is key; visit the HDC website, email or call them on (03) 314-8816 and speak to the Events Development team.


Food and beverages, traffic and safety and what they mean for your event

There are a number of aspects of events where licences, permits or consents may be required. Talk to the HDC and they’ll advise you on your specific needs.

Food, glorious food

In most instances the caterer providing food at an event must be registered under the Food Act. There are some instances where individuals or groups can provide food for charitable events or fundraising with an exemption. Before holding any event selling food, send an enquiry to or call (03) 314-8816.

Bubbles and bevvies

If alcohol is being served or sold you may need an alcohol licence and a certified manager at your event. Contact or call (03) 314-8816.

Alcohol is a serious issue. If your event is unlicensed or breaks your license rules the police will be called, your event can be shut down, your equipment confiscated, and prosecution is possible.

Road rules

Events held at venues along state highways or main roads may cause traffic congestion and even require temporary speed restrictions to ensure safety. If your event will generate lots of traffic or impact upon other vehicles and pedestrians you’ll need to notify HDC (for district main roads) and the NZ Transport Agency (who manage the state highway network). For traffic planning enquiries email the planning team on or call (03) 314-8816.

Let’s play safe

A safe event is a successful event. Safety is a big issue for public events and has many aspects.

For example, temporary structures such as marquees or tents which are over 100m2 require a consent. That’s because they must have sufficient exits in case of fire, and be strong enough to withstand high winds. If you’re expecting 1000's of people to attend your event you must have adequate toilets to ensure safe and healthy conditions for visitors. If you’re providing live music, it mustn’t damage people’s hearing or annoy people on neighbouring properties. For building, sound and safety enquiries email or call (03) 314-8816.