Kaikōura is an amazing place for any event. The stunning scenery, incredible range of activities and great facilities make it the perfect place to attend or plan your next event. If you're planning to hold an event here we have developed a Toolkit to help you on your way.

If you have any questions about anything to do with events in Kaikōura, contact our Community Events Officer on or phone 03 319 5026.


Alcohol Licencing

A special licence is required for any function or event where alcohol will be sold either over a bar or by a ticket system, or where the cost of the alcohol is included in the pre-sold ticket price. You may not need a special licence if the venue you are using has an alcohol licence that can cover your event (in which case they would generally take responsibility for supplying the alcohol).You should allow at least 20 working days to process the application for a special licence. An application fee will apply.

For more information please see the Alcohol Licences section of our website or contact us on 03 319 5026 and we will direct you to the correct department.

Building Consents

The building consent process is designed to ensure all buildings and structures comply with the Building Act 2004. Most types of building work, including the erection of fences over 2 metres in height are likely to require resource consent. There are a number of exemptions listed in Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004, including marquees that do not exceed 50 square metres in size and platforms that do not exceed 1 metre in height. A building consent and building inspection is required for a marquee over 50 square metres in size.

If you are planning having any type of amusement device e.g. bouncy castles, slides etc. you may also need an Amusement device consent, check with the company you are hiring off, but if you are still unsure contact the Event Coordinator (details below).

You should act early to find out whether you will need a building consent for your event. Once a building consent application is submitted you should allow up to 20 working days for processing. Inspections of the building work must also be booked in advance. If you are a non-profit organisation you may qualify for a waiver of fees.

Contact the Community Events Officer for more information.
Phone 03 319 5026 Ext 267

Events on Parks, Reserves and Sports Fields

You may wish to hold your event in one of Kaikōura's public spaces, parks, open spaces, or sports field. There is no fee charged to book or use a public space that is owned by Kaikōura District Council, but a bond may be required. This would cover any potential damage to property during your event and any extra cleaning costs if the venue isn’t left in its original condition. Kaikōura District Council will need to know your intended use of the facility and a list of conditions of use will be provided to you. Any structures such as tents, stages, caravans etc. will require written Council permission.

For more information on public parks, sports grounds please contact our Community Events Officer on phone 03 319 5026 or email

Event Promotion

There are a number of different ways to get your event message across to your target audience. These include the use of media releases, interviews, media advertising and other promotional materials such as posters and flyers. Which methods you use will depend largely on the size and nature of your event and your target audience. It is one thing to organise an event, but you also need to put the time and effort into promotion as well.

The targeted and careful use of media releases provides a free alternative to paying for media advertising, but only as long as the media are made sufficiently interested in your event. To work effectively with the media, you need to be able to write and/or speak clearly about the purpose and importance of your event and why it is of interest to their audiences.

It is important to consider listing your event on the local and national event calendars suggested and to engage in the various forms of social media such as the local Facebook Notice Board and Events Kaikōura contact, or Destination Kaikōura through their website Uniquely Kaikōura.

Event Signage

The purpose of signs and other forms of outdoor advertising is to convey information to the public. Such information may include: identifying properties, giving notice of forthcoming events, informing of the availability of goods and services and giving directions to pedestrians and traffic. The ability of the environment to accommodate signs varies considerably between commercial, residential and rural environments. The greatest concentration of outdoor advertising is in commercial areas where signs are necessary for business promotion. However, in residential and rural areas, where the maintenance and enhancement of amenity values are important, the potential adverse effect of signage is of greater significance. 

Kaikōura District Council has a Signs Bylaw. The purpose of the bylaw is to ensure that signs are erected, maintained and displayed in a manner that does not present a hazard or a danger to public safety. The bylaw is also to ensure that the amenity values of the District are maintained and enhanced. To download a copy of the Signs Bylaw click here.

Fire Permits

If, as part of your event, you are planning to have an open fire, bonfire, hāngi, umu, or solid fuel brazier, you may need a permit from Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

For more information on fire permits see the Check its Alright website 


As part of your responsibility as event organisers you must ensure that all suppliers of food to the public are meeting the requirements of the Food Act 2014. All operators at food festivals and other events must have a current registration under the Food Act 2014 or fit in to an exempt category. If you are fundraising for a purpose you likely fit into the exempt category unless you fundraise over 20 times per year. Environmental Health Officers may carry out inspections of each stall on the day of the event and stalls that fail to meet the standards will not be allowed to trade. Event organisers are expected to collect all event stall registrations and submit these to Kaikōura District Council for approval at least 20 working days before the event. Mobile traders that are licensed outside of Kaikōura are permitted to trade but also need to provide their registration details and display the certificate on the day.

To contact a member of our Environmental Health team phone 03 319 5026 or email
Click here for more information about the requirements of the Food Act 2014.


Sourcing funds is a very time consuming business. You need to start applying for funding in advance of your event, always talk to the fund administrator before you put in an application, to ensure you meet the criteria and that you are asking for an appropriate amount. The Council has a number of grants that might help, click here for more details.

For more information on local grants contact Arlene Brown; or phone 03 319 5026.

giveUS offers access to more than 1,200 grants and schemes for communities, volunteer organisations, schools, groups, sport clubs and Iwi. Sign up to giveUS through the Kaikōura District Library online or in person at 96 West End, Kaikōura.

For grant applications, Fund View is a computer database that lists over 500 sources of funding available for community groups. It is available for public use and is helpful for tracking down funding sources outside of the Council. You can view information on Fund View on computer terminals at Kaikōura District Library.

Health and Safety

As an event organiser you are responsible for protecting the health and safety of everyone attending, whether they are members of the public, event participants, volunteers or part of the event team. You can protect health and safety by identifying and managing all hazards and risks.

Every event should have a Health and Safety Plan, a comprehensive document that includes:

- Who is the contact person for emergency services
- A list of the possible hazards of each activity and how you plan to reduce these risk
- Distribution of a full contacts list to all key personnel prior to the event
- Details of the systems you have in place to identify, eliminate and minimise hazards and risks in the area during your event
- Regular reviews of the control measures you have in place
- Inspection of the event site with relevant team members to ensure it is safe before the public arrives and during the event
- An accident register, which must be kept up to date at the event site
- An incident plan stating how you will deal with any incidents
- Plans for health and safety briefing for all participants (staff, performers etc) before the event
- An outline of how you will ensure that all staff and volunteers on site will have the knowledge, skills and resources to perform their role adequately
- An undertaking that all staff and volunteers that require supervision will be adequately supervised
- An evacuation plan

For more information about event Health and Safety check out WorkSafe.
Kaikōura District Council has a full Event Plan checklist available to assist event organisers, email

Insurance Requirements

You need to arrange your own liability insurance cover for your event. Your event is not covered by the Council, and the Council will not accept any liability for claims that may arise as a result of an event. Contact your insurance company for advice. Specialised event insurance may include: event cancellation, earthquake cover, adverse weather, non-appearance cover for entertainers

Noise Levels

If you are using a public address system or amplified music, there may be noise issues. If the Council receives a noise complaint during your event, it will investigate. If the noise is subjectively assessed as unreasonably interfering with peace, comfort and convenience, the Council may make a request for the noise to be reduced to a reasonable level. Any requests by a warranted noise control officer to reduce the noise should be complied with immediately.

It is a good idea to drop leaflets to neighbouring residents and businesses well in advance of the event giving them details including what the event is, where and when it is being held, who it is aimed at, how long it is likely to last and the sort of noise you expect to make. To find out about noise restrictions in the District Plan and how they might impact your event, contact Kaikōura District Council on 03 319 5026  or email

Resource Consents

Will your event comply with the Kaikōura District Plan?
It is your responsibility to find out. 
The District Plan contains various policies and rules to manage environmental effects throughout the Kaikōura District. If your event cannot comply with all the relevant rules, you will have to obtain resource consent before you can hold it. Please contact the Council early on in your event planning to check whether your event will need resource consent.

Some examples include;
- Exceeding permitted noise limits
- Exceeding the permitted hours of operation
- Signage
- Changing the existing use of the site identified for the event

Because of the time it takes to process consent applications, it is important to apply early for your resource consent. Sometimes resource consent applications can be processed without the need for public notification, in such a case the resource consent will take up to 20 working days to process. However, if the resource consent application requires public notification, it can take up to 70 working days to process. The more time allowed to process resource consents the better.

These timeframes depend on you providing accurate information in your application, otherwise they are likely to be extended while Council asks you for further information. The information needed from you when discussing your event or considering your application for resource consent includes:
- A description of the event, its location, date, duration and how it will operate
- A site plan showing layout of activities, buildings, parking areas, signs and other structure
- Anticipated number of people who will be attending the event, including staff
- Noise levels likely to result from the event
- Proposed signage for the event
For resource consent applications, you must also produce an assessment of environmental effects. This is a descriptive of all the effects of high impact, for example: noise, increased traffic, changes to the use of public space and visual effects. If you are a non-profit organisation you may qualify for a waiver of fees. Contact or phone 03 319 5026.

Rubbish and Recycling

When planning your event it is important that you consider what waste may be generated, how this might impact on your site and the surrounding area and how you are going to deal with this. Whilst there may be existing collection systems nearby e.g. public litter bins, it is the Council expects that event organisers will provide their own system for the collection and removal of waste generated by and association with the event. Innovative Waste Kaikōura is our local Resource Centre, 82 Scarborough Street, Kaikōura.

Contact or call 03 319 7148


Toilet Facilities

Make sure you have enough toilet facilities at your venue or site, either within the building or outside. You may need to set up portable toilets to add to any existing facilities and they must be serviced during the event. Consider also supplying a toilet that has disabled access.

Liquid Waste is a locally owned and operated business, offering a full range of liquid waste disposal services.  They service the area north of Kaikōura to Kekeregu and south to the Conway river, inland to North Canterbury as far as Culverden. Services include Septic Tanks, Oasis Units, Sumps Greasetraps, Holding Tanks, Portaloo Hire ​& Portable Wash Basin Units.

Contact: 03 319 7360 ​Cell: 0274 375 939 Freephone: 0800 Poozer

Traffic Management

If your event requires some or all of a road, or some or all of a footpath to be closed/altered temporarily to traffic or pedestrians, you will need to complete a traffic management plan and submit it to Kaikōura District Council.

You will also need to consider side roads where events are taking place. If this has an impact on traffic flows or parking, you may also require a Traffic Management Plan. The setting up of all traffic management plans must be completed by a qualified STMS and temporary traffic control must be carried out by a qualified traffic controller. The Council will be able to advise you of companies who can assist with traffic management for events in the Kaikōura area. 

An application fee applies for road closures and street activities, plus you will need to budget for publicly advertising road closures. When your application is received the Council will make a decision based on safety issues, traffic management and conditions.