Do I need a licence or certificate of approval?
People working in the private security and investigations industry in New Zealand might need to hold a current licence or certificate of approval to do the work legally. Security services include all the following classes of work:
- crowd control, which includes door security, keeping order and removing people from premises (bouncers, door security, or event security)
- personal or property security (bodyguards or property guards)
- destruction of confidential documents
- private investigation
- installation, repair, or removal of security devices such as alarms or safes (security technician)
- provision of advice on the purchase of security devices or services (security consultant).
This section covers the following:
- Who must hold a licence?
- Who must hold a certificate of approval?
- Who doesn’t need to hold a certificate of approval or licence?
Please be aware: You cannot trade as an Incorporated Company holding an Individual Licence
Any individual or company providing private security or private investigation services for money must be licensed.
Any security personnel employed by or contracted to a licence holder must hold an appropriate certificate of approval as must any crowd controller.
Find more information about who needs to be licensed.
Working without a licence is an offence. An individual could be fined up to $40,000. A company could be fined up to $60,000.
As a licence holder, it is also an offence to employ or contract a person who doesn’t hold a current certificate of approval. You could be fined up to $20,000.
You must hold a certificate of approval if:
- you are employed by or contracted to a licence holder to do security work or private investigation work as defined here
- you are paid to be a crowd controller.
What will happen if you need a certificate but don’t get one?
Working without a certificate of approval is an offence. You could be fined up to $20,000 for doing so.
Some people who do security work do not need to hold a certificate of approval or licence.
- Volunteers who receive no payment for their services.
- Employers of in-house security, except those that hire out that security to another person or organisation are not required to hold a Crowd Controllers Licence.
- Employees of government agencies, for example, the police, armed forces.
- Government agencies.
- Electrical Installers who hold a current licence issued by the Electrical Workers Registration Board do not need a Certificate of Approval or Licence to carry out the work of a Security Technician. You can check whether you hold a current Electrical Installers licence at the Electrical Worker Register.
- People who carry out their work or business covered by the Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Act 2010 under a practising certificate, licence or permit or any other authority under any other Act.