How to successfully plan an event or fundraiser

If you are organising a fundraiser or an event you may need to obtain various licences and/or permits, depending on what you propose to do.

If you are having alcohol at an event

You will need to apply for a special licence if you are going to either:

  • sell alcohol at an event; or
  • charge an entry fee, sell tickets or collect donations at an event where alcohol is supplied for free.

Events include:

  • sporting events
  • concerts
  • farmers’ markets
  • private social gatherings (e.g. birthdays, weddings).

Applications for a special licence must be received 20 working days before your event.

Special licence application form [PDF, 847 KB]

Food for fundraising and community events

If you're selling food to raise funds, or for charity, it must be safe to eat. That means no one should get sick as a result of eating your food.

The Food Act 2014 says:

You don't have to register if you're selling food:

  • to raise funds for a charity, cultural or community group less than 20 times a year,
  • provided by members of sports clubs, social clubs or marae – where food is not the purpose of the event, or
  • once in a calendar year at an event such as a local fair.

You do have to register if you're:

  • fundraising more than 20 times a year,
  • catering events at clubs, or selling food at club bars or restaurants,
  • bartering or exchanging food commercially, or
  • selling food commercially at fairs, markets, or community events more than once a year.

Selling food at fairs, markets and occasional events

If you do sell food not for fundraising purposes more than once in a calendar year it is subject to registration under food safety legislation.

If you sell food at a single one-off event only once in a calendar year, your only requirement is to ensure your food is safe to eat.

If you sell food at markets or events more than once a year, there are some other steps you need to take, and you're likely to need to register as a food business. Use the Where Do I Fit? tool to find out how the Food Act 2014 applies to you.

Raffle tickets 

There are a number of gambling activities that societies, and in very limited circumstances individuals, can run.  These include housie, instant games, games of chance, lottery and prize competitions.

If you want to run one of these you need to follow the relevant game rules for the type of activity you are proposing.  In some cases a licence may be required from the Department of Internal Affairs.

You also need to be aware it is illegal to offer the following as prizes:

  • A firearm, explosive (including ammunition), restricted weapon, or airgun
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco products
  • A taonga tuturu (an object more than 50 years old that relates to Māori culture, history or society, and was manufactured, modified, used, or brought into New Zealand by Māori)
  • Vouchers or entitlements to commercial sexual services
  • Vouchers or entitlements to any of the other items listed above.

You can obtain further information regarding the above from the Department of Internal Affairs or NZ Police websites. 

The Council does not issue permits or licences for gambling.

Amusement devices

An amusement ride is any mechanically powered unit (e.g. merry-go-round, mini jeeps etc.) that is used for rider enjoyment.  If you are having something like this then you will need an amusement device permit from the Council.  This does not include bouncy castles or inflatable slides.

Amusement device application [PDF, 853 KB]

Other permits or licences

Depending on what you are doing you may require other permits or licences such as a mobile traders licence, trading in public places licence etc.  You are advised to contact your local council if you are unsure.

Planning an event [PDF, 517 KB]

Contact us

Gore District Council
Phone 03 209 0330

Other councils you can contact are: 

Invercargill City Council
Phone 03 211 1777

Southland District Council
Phone 0800 732 732

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: