All businesses selling and trading in food must be registered.

This is a requirement of the Food Act 2014 (The Act) which came into force on 1 March 2016. There is a three year transition period to March 2019 for existing businesses operating under the Food Act 1981 and Food Hygiene Regulations 1974.

Transition Timetable

Your business will operate under one of the following:

  • Template Food Control Plan - people who manufacture and prepare food
  • National Programme 3, e.g. Retailers that handle food but do not prepare it such as service stations
  • National Programme 2, e.g. Food service provide to preschool children
  • National Programme 1, e.g. coffee carts
  • Custom Food Control Plan - Register with Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) not Council

For more information on the type of registration, use this Where do I fit? tool from the MIP website.  


How to apply

If you are a new food business or a current business that is transitioning to the Food Act 2014; you need to complete an application form for registration and scope of operations document and submit these to Council. Council or MPI is the only place you can register your plan or programme.

Application for registration under the Food Act 2014 with a local council (pdf, 323KB)

Scope of Operations 


How often to register

If you operate under a template Food Control Plan, then you will need to register each year on the anniversary of the registration expiry. However if you operate under a National Programme then you only need to register every two years. There is a fee for registration.

Registration RENEWAL application form under the Food Act 2014 (pdf 318KB)


Taking over an existing food business

Before you purchase an existing food business that is currently registered under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974, Template Food Control Plan or National Programme, you must contact council and speak to a licensing officer.

Food Control Plans and National Programmes are non-transferable and therefore where a new owner takes over an existing food business they will either need to apply for a new Food Control Plan or National Programme depending on the scope of their business.



How often your food premise's Food Control Plan or National Programme is verified (audited) depends on the food you sell and how well you manage food safety. For e.g. a Food Control Plan is verified annually but that timeframe could be increased to 18 months or decreased to 9 or 6 months. A National Programme 3 for example is normally verified every 2 years. There is a separate fee based on an hourly rate.

At the time your verification audit is due, Council will be in touch to arrange a time that suits both the Health Officer and the food premise. An audit can take up to two hours.

Businesses that operate under a National Programme may choose an indpendent verifier if you do not wish to use a Council verifier.

At the time of registration, a deposit toward your Verification Audit is paid, this will either be a low, medium or high risk deposit depending on your food premise. Thisis a deposit only and depending on how long the Health Officer takes to carry out your audit will determine whether this deposit covers the cost of the audit or if an additional invoice is required.


New food business? How we can help

In addition to our Environmental Health Team, you can also work with our planning and building consents teams to ensure you meet all the releveant health and building regulations.

The Planning Team can offer advice on our DIstrict Plan and information on parking requirements, advertising and likely future patterns of development in that area.

Building Consent Officers can help with construction requirements, change of use conditions, grease traps, plumbing and drainage, egress, number of sanitary fixtures and access for disabled people.  A building consent will be required for any work done.

The Environmental Health Officers can provide information on health requirements, inspections and the issue of registration to sell food.

Contact us for more information.


Fees and charges

View the fees and charges for prices on deposits and the Health Officers charge out rates.


Non-profit organisations selling food

Non-profit organisations selling food less than 20 times per year:

They are not required to register and complete paper work. For e.g. a school baking cakes for a cake stall at a gala event does not need to fill out any forms and register, as long as they keep below the 20 events per year.

Exceeding the 20 events per year is considered to be a commercial operation and they would need to register with Council.

Council recommends that organisers of events advise their non-profit organisations to seek advice from Council (by way of pamphlet handouts) and the MPI website on how to handle and prepare safe food on the day.

For more information on the type of registration you need, use the Where do I fit? tool.