Relocations and the Waikiwi decision

On 19 February 2024, the High Court declared that “Waikiwi” relocations of class 4 venues were no longer permitted.

The Court found class 4 venue relocations that relied on a 2013 High Court case concerning the Waikiwi Tavern, and did not require territorial authority consent, were not permitted under the Gambling Act. Instead, decision-making about the relocation of licensed venues sits with the relevant territorial authorities.

The effect of the decision is that the Department cannot grant relocations that rely on the Waikiwi precedent. Now, for venues to relocate, consent from the relevant territorial authority will be needed.

This does not affect applications that have been granted in the past – the Court was clear that these are not overturned by its decision. 

The decision is the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal.