The Mount Wellington Licensing Trust – Giving is Good

7 Mar

The Mount Wellington Licensing Trust – Giving is Good

Where did it all start?

Although not one of the countries to engage in total prohibition, New Zealand
experienced extremely tight restrictions in liquor licensing terms due to the Temperance
Movement at the beginning of the 20th century When these restrictions were lifted
after WWI, we saw a huge amount of liquor licenses being granted. This resulted in
massive profits for the licence holders, and some seriously negative feedback from local
communities, who believed the proliferation of liquor outlets to be detrimental. Some
control was sought and that’s where Licensing Trusts came in. Here, the ultimate owners
are the local community: profits are fed back into the communities in which they trade.

A time line:

1952 : The Mt Wellington Licensing Trust was formed together with the assistance of the Mt Wellington Borough Council

1957 : The first licensed premises opens on the Mt Wellington Panmure Highway

1962 : A wholesale outlet is established

1965 : Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre site is purchased Mt Wellington Charitable Trust is formed

1969 : Waipuna Lodge opens

1985 : The Licensing Trust purchases the Panmure Historic Hotel

1990 : Waipuna is extended and reopened in time for the Commonweath Games, renamed Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre

2007 : The Panmure is transformed into the Landmark and Corner Bars

2012 : The Mt Wellington/Panmure RSA moves into the Landmark to share premises with us

2014 : New premises are leased at Highbrook

What does The Mt Wellington Licensing Trust do now?

Today, the Mt Wellington Licensing Trust employs some 200 people with an annual
turnover of $20 million, gifting more than $1.5 million to the community each year.

Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre

The mainstay of the Trust, with 150 rooms and a magnificent view over the Panmure
Basin, it caters to both domestic and international visitors, corporate and private. The
land it occupies is extremely valuable and provides the opportunity for more extensive
development in the future.

Panmure Historic Hotel Complex

With its two separate licensed premises and additional leased office space a strong food
and beverage business together with gaming and a TAB, this complex also lives on a
piece of valuable land, providing future development potential.

Waipuna Conference Suites at Highbrook

Located at Highbrook Business Park, the Waipuna Conference Suites provide meeting and
catering services to businesses within the park and beyond. The space is leased and the
business operates to complement the Waipuna Hotel.

For inspiring stories about how the Trust has helped our community, visit

For information on grant applications, visit

What’s next?

Building on its excellent track record, including a strong balance sheet, well maintained
assets and a strong business stream, not to mention a wealth of happy community based
recipients, The Trust is looking to the future with excitement, pledging to.
• Protect its existing community-owned assets and businesses;
• Sustainably expand and grow its community-owned assets and businesses; and
• Maximise profits whilst ensuring quality working conditions and moving towards at least a living wage for its employees.

This will be achieved by:
• Employing local people
• Supporting local people, businesses and organisations
• Providing quality service and facilities to its guests and customers.