Food Act 2014

Information related to the Food Act 2014, the Food Regulations 2015 and various links to information and resources such as food control plans.

Overview of Changes | Food Control Plans | National Programmes | The change from inspection to verification (what to expect) |Find out when your food business will transition into the new system | Applying to register a new food business 

Overview of Changes

Have a look at an overview of the Food Act changes for information from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).  This information will constantly be updated with links to various guidance and resources as it is developed.

Food Control Plans

Find out all you need to know on Food Control Plans or download a Food Control plan to help.

National Programmes

For further information on National Programmes, or to find out about requirements click here.

National Programme businesses must be registered with the Council but verified by a person or agency approved by MPI - to find an approved verifier click here, and choose the type of food operation (operation class) to find a verifier approved for your type of National Programme.

A change from Inspection to Audit (or Verification)

As all businesses transition into the new system, operators will notice a change in the way our officers carry out assessments.  For those operating on a food control plan (FCP), the assessment or verification is likely to take longer than an inspection used to and the operator and the staff will be asked to demonstrate (through actions and records) that they understand and are complying with legislation and are doing what they say they will do in the FCP.

For more information on the difference between an inspection and an audit click here.

Transition timetable

From 1 March 2016, the Food Act comes fully into force. This means all new food businesses will need to operate under the new system and all existing businesses will need to  transition to the new system over the next three years.  To transition into the new system you will need to operate under the appropriate risk based tool either:

  • a template food control plan (FCP), or
  • a national programme (NP), or
  • a custom food control plan.

For further information on food control plans click here.

For further information on national programmes click here.

First Year (1 March 2016 to 30 June 2017)

During the first year all food service businesses that hold an ON Licence must transition into the new system and will need to register their template food control plan - included in these are cafe's, restaurants and taverns.

Also the following national programme businesses must transition onto the appropriate national programme:

  • food service to pre-school children in a centre-based setting
  • processors of nuts and seeds (includes coffee roasting)

Second Year (1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018)

During the second year the following food service sector and retail businesses will need to register their template food control plan:

  • any other cafes, and restaurants
  • butchers, fishmongers, delicatessans, bakeries

Also the following food businesses will need to register under the appropriate national programme, such as

  • processors of herbs and spices NP3
  • retailers that handle but do not prepare or manufacture food (Dairies and some service stations) NP3
  • retailers of manufacturer packaged chilled and frozen food (grocery style stores) NP2
  • manufacturers of confectionery NP2
  • bakeries that prepare or manufacture bread products only NP2

Third Year (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019)

 During the third year the following food businesses will need to register under the appropriate national programme:

  • manufacture of shelf stable condiments (jams, preserves, sauces and spreads) NP2
  • manufacturers of oils and fats (including olive oil) NP3
  • brewers, distillers and manufacturers of vinegar or alcoholic beverages NP3
  • extractors and packers of honey NP1 
  • retailers of hot beverages and shelf stable manufacturer packaged foods (coffee carts) NP1
  • retailers of manufacturer packaged ice cream and confectionary NP1
  • manufacturers of frozen fruit and vegetable NP2
  • manufacturers of water based products including ice, iced confectionery and desserts NP2
  • manufacturers of shelf stable grain based products NP2
  • manufacturers of crisps, popcorn, pretzels or similar snack products NP2
  • manufacturers of dried/dehydrated fruit or vegetables NP2
  • processors of grain NP3
  • transporters or distributors of food products NP1
  • producers of horticultural food and packhouses NP1

If you are confused about where you fit in the new system you can use the "where do I fit tool", or if you require further information contact a food officer.

Further information on types of food businesses and transition dates can be found here.

Applying to register a new food business

The information in this section only relates to the requirements of the Food Act 2014. 

Please ensure you discuss your new business proposal with a Planning Officer to see if you require a Resource Consent to undertake the activity, and a building officer to see if you will require a building consent.

All new food businesses (and those changing ownership) must now operate under the new system, therefore you will either be applying to register a template food control plan or a business operating under a national programme.  If you are unsure which of these tools applies to you please use the  "where do I fit tool",  . 

There are now two distinct processes involved in operating a food business, registration and verification.  Registration means applying to register with the approprate registration authority (the Council or MPI) and getting approval to open the business.   Verification of the food business must then occur within a month.  Council Food Officers can conduct a verification of businesses on a Food Control Plan, but do not have approval from MPI to conduct verifications of businesses who operate under a National Programme.

If you are eligable to register a food control plan (such as a cafe, restaurant, tavern, mobile food business, butcher, takeaway etc) then you will apply to register the business with the Council.  And the Council food officer will make an appointment for the verification activity shortly thereafter.

If you are a National Programme business (dairy, brewer, early childcare centre, coffee cart, honey producer, service station etc) you will apply to register the business with the Council.  However you must confirm that you have engaged the services of a third party verifier in order to complete your application for  registration.  MPI hold the list of approved verifiers here,  when on this page choose the drop down box which says operation classes and choose the type of food sector that your business fits into and hit search.  Scroll the list to find a third party verifier for you business. 

When applying to register a new food business you must complete an application form and a scope of operations form.  Please note that unless both of these forms are completed in full we may be unable to progress your application for registration.

Please find an APPLICATION form here.

Please find a link to the  SCOPE OF OPERATIONS form here (note this form must be downloaded from the Ministry of Primary Industries website and completed).

Once your application has been assessed as complete the Council will invoice you the correct fee.