How to Apply for Local Street Festival Permit

Festival Prep Made Easy: Applying for Street Festival Permits in New Zealand

Thinking about throwing a lively street festival in New Zealand? Well, it all starts with getting that local street festival permit. 

In this user-friendly guide, we break down the process step by step, so you can get your event on track while keeping things hassle-free and compliant with New Zealand’s rules.

How to apply for a local street festival permit in New Zealand?

How to apply for a local street festival permit in New Zealand

To apply for a local street festival permit in New Zealand, you’ll need to submit the required documents and follow specific guidelines provided by your local council or city authority. 

Below, we’ve outlined the necessary steps to guide you through this application process.

DifficultyModerate ●●●○○
Number of steps4
Time to perform stepsSeveral weeks (excluding waiting for a decision)
Things you needComputer or smartphone with internet access (for online research and communication)
Necessary personal and event information
Payment method for any associated fees (if applicable)

STEP 1: Contact your local council or city authority.

Contact your local council or city authority

The initial and crucial step in obtaining a local street festival permit in New Zealand is to establish contact with your local council or city authority. 

This pivotal step serves as the foundation for the entire application process, as it sets the stage for understanding the specific requirements and procedures applicable to your event.

To help you navigate this first step effectively, here’s a breakdown of what you need to do:

  1. Determine the Responsible Department: Begin by researching which local council or city department is responsible for issuing permits for events and festivals in your area. 

Many councils typically make this information readily available on their official websites, often in sections pertaining to permits, events, or community services. 

  1. Initiate Contact: Once you’ve identified the appropriate department, reach out to them. This can usually be done by phone or email, with the contact details readily available on the council’s website. 

Alternatively, you can also visit your city or town hall in person and inquire about the appropriate contact details to reach them.

When contacting them, it’s essential to convey your intention to hold a street festival and express your need for a permit.

  1. Discuss Your Event: When in contact with the department, engage in a discussion about your event. Inform them about the nature of your festival and provide any pertinent details, such as:
  • the proposed date
  • location
  • estimated number of attendees
  • and the activities you plan to include.
  1. Inquire About Permit Requirements: Seek information regarding the specific permit requirements that apply to your event. This is the stage where they will inform you if your event indeed requires a permit based on criteria such as:
  • the number of attendees
  • the venue (public open space)
  • commercial activities
  • potential environmental impact
  • and various other factors 
  1. Obtain Application Materials: If your event qualifies for a permit, the council or city authority will guide you on how to proceed. They will provide you with the necessary application forms, guidelines, and a checklist of documents you need to submit. 

These documents might include event plans, risk assessments, public liability insurance, and more.

At this moment, once you’ve fulfilled this step, you’re now equipped with the list of documents and forms you need to provide in order to move forward with your permit application.

Pro-tip: Different councils in New Zealand may have varying procedures and requirements, so pay close attention to any council-specific guidelines they provide. These can include deadlines, fees, and additional permits for specific aspects of your event (e.g., food stalls, alcohol service).

STEP 2: Provide the required documents.

Provide the required documents

Now that you know what’s needed for your permit application, the next step is to ensure you have all the required documents in order. 

It’s worth noting that the specific requirements for a local street festival permit can vary from one council to another, so while we’ll provide a general overview of common requirements, always refer to your local council’s guidelines for precise details.

Here’s a rundown of the usual documents and information you may need to gather:

  • Application Form: At this point in the process, you’ll have already received the application form from your local council or city authority. This form serves as the core document for your permit application and will require detailed information about your event—we’ll talk about this in the next step.
  • Event Plans: To create comprehensive event plans, start by outlining the schedule, layout, and logistics of your festival. Include details about stages, vendor locations, first-aid stations, and emergency procedures. 

You can draft these plans on your own or hire event planning professionals to assist you.

  • Risk Assessments: Conducting risk assessments involves identifying potential hazards at your event and proposing strategies to mitigate them. Seek guidance from safety experts, or you can find templates and resources on government websites related to event safety.
  • Public Liability Insurance: Contact insurance providers that specialise in event coverage. They can guide you through the process of obtaining public liability insurance tailored to your festival. It’s essential to provide all necessary event details to ensure proper coverage.
  • Traffic Management Plan: Work with a traffic management company or hire traffic management professionals who can help you design and implement a traffic management plan. 

They will assess the traffic impact of your event and provide strategies to handle it safely.

  • Food and Beverage Licences: Contact your local health department or regulatory agency to inquire about food and beverage licences. They will provide you with the necessary application forms and guidelines. 

For alcohol licences, reach out to your local liquor licensing authority.

  • Waste Management Plan: Develop a waste management plan that outlines how you will handle waste collection, recycling, and disposal during and after the festival. Consult with waste management companies for assistance if needed.
  • Community Engagement: Engage with your local community by hosting public meetings or consultations to discuss your festival’s plans and address any concerns. Keep records of these interactions as evidence of community support.

Always remember to check with your local council or city authority for any additional steps or specific requirements related to these documents and permits. They will provide guidance and ensure you’re following the correct procedures for your particular location.

STEP 3: Complete the application form.

Complete the application form

To continue toward the application for your local street festival permit, the next important thing to do is to fill out the application form provided by your local council or city authority. 

This step is crucial because it helps define the details of your festival in an official way, which in turn assists authorities in ensuring safety and compliance.

Since the content of the street festival permit application form can vary depending on the local council or city authority, here’s a detailed look at what you’ll typically find on the form:

  1. Contact Information: You’ll begin by providing your personal contact details, including:
  • your name
  • address
  • phone number
  • and email address. 

Ensure the information is accurate and up-to-date, as this is how the authorities will reach you regarding your application.

  1. Information about Your Festival: The form will require detailed information about your festival, including:
  • the proposed date
  • time
  • and location. 

Specify the type of activities that will be taking place and provide an estimate of the expected number of attendees. Since you’ve already planned these aspects in Step 2, filling out this section should be relatively straightforward.

  1. Traffic Management, Security, and Waste Disposal Plans: This section is critical for ensuring the safety and smooth operation of your festival. Detail your plans for traffic management, including road closures, traffic detours, and any security measures you intend to implement.

Additionally, describe your waste disposal strategies, such as the placement of waste bins and recycling facilities. Since you’ve outlined these plans in Step 2, use that information to complete this section accurately.

  1. Proof of Insurance: The application form will likely require you to provide proof of adequate insurance coverage for your festival. This may include liability insurance and event insurance. 

Attach the necessary documentation or reference your insurance provider’s information.

  1. Evidence of Public Support: Some councils may request evidence of public support for your festival. This could include letters of support from local businesses, community organisations, or residents who endorse your event. 

If you’ve engaged with the community in Step 2, collect any supporting documentation to strengthen your application.

Completing the application form meticulously and accurately is crucial to ensuring a smooth permit approval process. 

Be sure to review the form thoroughly before submission, double-checking all details and attachments to meet the specific requirements outlined by your local council or city authority.

STEP 4: Submit your application and fees (if applicable).

Submit your application and fees (if applicable)

Having completed the necessary paperwork, the final step in applying for your local street festival permit is to submit your application and associated fees. 

You have quite a few options:

Online Submission: Many local councils offer the convenience of online submission for permit applications. Visit their official website and navigate to the permit application section. 

Follow the provided instructions to upload your completed application form and any supporting documents electronically. Pay any required fees using the online payment system, if available.

In-Person Submission: If online submission is not an option or if you prefer a face-to-face approach, visit your local council or city authority’s office in person. Bring a printed copy of your completed application form and all required documents. 

Staff at the office will guide you on how to submit the application and make the necessary fee payments.

Mail or Courier: Some councils allow permit applications to be submitted by mail or courier services. Contact your local council to confirm their preferred mailing address and any specific instructions for sending your application package. 

Ensure you include all required documents and a check or money order for the applicable fees.

Application Drop-Box: In certain cases, local councils provide drop-boxes at their offices for after-hours submissions. Prepare a complete application package, including the application form, supporting documents, and payment (if applicable), and drop it off in the designated box. Be sure to follow any posted guidelines.

Once you’ve successfully submitted your application and fees, you will typically receive a confirmation receipt or acknowledgment, either electronically or in person at the council’s office. 

This receipt serves as tangible evidence that your application is now in the process of review. Make sure to retain it for your records and future reference.

And there you have it—the simplified steps on how to apply for a local street festival permit in New Zealand, providing you with a roadmap to navigate the process with confidence.

What happens next after I file an application for a local street festival in New Zealand?

What happens next after I file an application for a local street festival in New Zealand

After submitting your application for a local street festival permit in New Zealand, the next steps involve awaiting a decision from the local council or city authority. 

The processing timeline may take up to six weeks, primarily if they require additional information from you, in which case they will contact you. 

However, if your submitted documents are sufficient, the processing time may be shorter than six weeks.

If your application is declined, the council will contact you to explain the reasons for their decision.

On the other hand, if your application is approved, you will receive the necessary permit for your street festival. 

Typically, this permit will be sent to you through the communication method you specified during the application process, whether it be email, postal mail, or another method discussed with the council.