Reciprocal Rights is a part of club life that dates back to the very first clubs established in New Zealand. It provides club members the opportunity to visit and enjoy the facilities and hospitality of clubs right across the country. Reciprocal Rights reinforces the club community in New Zealand and supports social visits and sporting tournaments enjoyed by many club members.

Little is known about the earliest reciprocal visiting arrangements established by New Zealand’s first clubs, however, we do know that following the passing of the 1948 Act and the establishment of the Licensing Control Commission, reciprocal rights was an established part of club life.

In 1970 the Association of Chartered Clubs recommended to all clubs that they include a model rule regarding Reciprocal Visiting Rights, this rule was developed in conjunction with the Licensing Control Commission and subsequently approved. Today the advice from Clubs New Zealand remains unchanged and we strongly recommend that all clubs review their constitutions and ensure that rules regarding reciprocal visitors and reciprocal visiting rights are included within your constitution.

Within the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 reciprocal visitors are defined as;

Authorised Visitor, in relation to premises a club licence is held for, means a member of some other club with which the club concerned has an arrangement for reciprocal visiting rights for members.

Clubs New Zealand administers an arrangement for reciprocal visiting rights on behalf of its member clubs. Upon joining Clubs New Zealand clubs are required to indicate that they extend reciprocal visiting rights to all members of Clubs New Zealand and that reciprocal visiting rights will remain in place for as long as the club is a member of Clubs New Zealand.

The arrangement for reciprocal visiting rights is renewed annually as part of the membership update process that all clubs are required to complete.

As mentioned above Clubs New Zealand recommends that all club committees take the time to review any rules relating to reciprocal visiting rights within your constitution to ensure that it is understood and compliments the reciprocal visiting arrangement administered by Clubs New Zealand. If the rule regarding reciprocal rights has not been reviewed since the introduction of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 we recommend that this should be done as a matter of priority.

The Clubs New Zealand model constitution includes definitions for Affiliated Clubs, Authorised Customers and Authorised Visitors as well as a model rule for Guests and Visitors which covers guests of a member and authorised visitors.

The Clubs New Zealand model constitution can be downloaded from the governance folder within the resource room. We also have template documentation regarding reciprocal rights which can be used when renewing your club licence.