2.6.2 Information for DLCs on Step 6

Your decisions can be appealed

Any party involved in the hearing has the right to appeal to ARLA if they are dissatisfied with the decision or any part of the decision.

In some situations, the decision will be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal. This means that the licence can’t be used until the appeal is resolved, unless it is for a renewal and the current licence continues until the outcome of the appeal.

An appeal must be lodged with ARLA within 10 working days after the DLC decision is supplied to the aggrieved party. The appellant must notify the other parties to the hearing that they have appealed. In practice, the secretary of the DLC would receive the notification and would then notify the DLC. It would be good practice for the secretary to check that the parties have been notified.

If the application was first considered by a DLC, the first appeal right is to ARLA. ARLA decisions can be appealed to the High Court and then, if leave is granted, to the Court of Appeal.

ARLA will deal with an appeal ‘on the papers’ or call a hearing to hear from the parties. ARLA can:

  • confirm the decision of the DLC
  • modify  the decision of the DLC
  • reverse the decision of the DLC
  • refer the matter back to the DLC to consider it again (with some guidance on particular issues). 

Generally, the DLC is not represented at the appeal hearing. ARLA hears from the appellant and may have some questions of the objectors and agencies who gave evidence. ARLA will be looking to ensure that the appellant was dealt with fairly and that the conclusion reached by the DLC was available to it based on the evidence produced. 

The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority

What is ARLA?

ARLA is the overarching national body set up to ensure that the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (the Act) is fairly applied. Its functions are to:

  • determine applications for new and renewed licences and manager’s certificates that have been referred to it by DLCs 
  • determine appeals against:
    • decisions of DLCs   
    • draft local alcohol policies 
  • give direction or statements to DLCs 
  • advise people of the appropriate DLC to go to 
  • refer matters to DLCs for inquiry and report 
  • determine enforcement applications – variation, suspension or cancellation of licences and manager’s certificates 
  • perform any other functions conferred on it by any Act.
Membership of ARLA

ARLA can consist of up to three District Court Judges (one of whom is the chairperson) and any number of other members. Members are normally appointed for a term of up to five years. At present, ARLA comprises a chairperson (who is a District Court Judge) and three members.

ARLA as a commission of inquiry

ARLA has the powers of a commission of inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908. A commission of inquiry is an inquisitorial system rather than an adversarial system. An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court is actively involved in investigating the facts of the case. This is different from an adversarial system, where the role of the court is primarily that of an impartial referee between the parties. ARLA can summon witnesses, require documentation, and award costs (to a limited extent).

ARLA practice directions and statements

ARLA may issue practice directions or statements (which include notes, guidance or suggestions). They set out ARLA’s views on the general administration of the Act or policies to be followed in the administration of the Act.

ARLA will make it clear within each direction, statement or note whether its advice must be followed by DLCs and regulatory agencies or if it is more for information. We suggest that you read all the notes and guidelines that ARLA publishes. Even if they aren’t direction that must be followed, they may contain information useful to you and help achieve consistency.

Notes and guidelines from ARLA are set out on the Ministry of Justice website. They cover topics such as:

  • the documents that DLCs should forward to ARLA
  • the procedure for considering and determining temporary authorities
  • provisional local alcohol policies
  • requirements for DLCs to provide transcripts to ARLA.
How are ARLA hearings run?

ARLA hearings are similar to DLC hearings, but generally more formal, as they are run by a District Court Judge.

You can read more detailed guidance about ARLA hearings in the Toolbox

All parties or their legal representatives can appear and speak at the hearing. They can also call, examine and cross-examine witnesses. Parties to an application or appeal may be represented by an agent if ARLA gives approval beforehand.

During a hearing, the person applying for a licence or manager’s certificate will make their submissions and give their evidence first. Or, where the hearing is an appeal, the appellant will proceed first.

The Authority will give its decision orally and/or in writing after the hearing.

Can a decision of ARLA be appealed?

Any party in a proceeding may appeal ARLA’s decision to the High Court. Appeals must be made to the High Court within 10 working days after notice of the decision has been given to that party.

Back to 2.6 Step 6 - Appeals to ARLA regarding a DLC decision

The information contained in this online guide is intended as a general guide.
While reasonable measures have been taken to ensure that the information is current and accurate as at October 2019, the Health Promotion Agency cannot accept any liability for any inaccuracy, omission or deficiency in relation to the information. It is not legal advice and you should not rely on anything contained in this guide in any legal proceedings. The information provided does not replace or alter the laws of New Zealand, and you should consult the legislation and obtain your own legal and professional advice, as appropriate. The Health Promotion Agency will not accept liability for any action taken in reliance on anything contained in this online guide.