Registering a Food Premises

The Environmental Health team consists of environmental health officers and they carry out the food safety role and general public health role.There are business premises in the community, other than food premises, that have a potential to put public health at risk. These include hairdressers shops, camping grounds, premises used by funeral directors, mortuaries, saleyards and offensive trades, hawkers/itinerant traders. These premises must be registered under the Health (Registration of Premises) Regulations 1966.

These premises are subject to annual registration under the Health Act and are inspected on a regular basis to ensure compliance with legislative requirements relating to each type of business premises.

Fees and Forms

Click here for health & liquor forms. Click here for fees and charges.

Opening a food premises

In planning your food premises, you need to consider:

  • zoning restrictions
  • car parking  
  • alcohol licensing
  • health registration
  • building issues such as disabled access and fire safety

Please contact Council's Building or Planning team for building or planning requirements. If you intend to operate as a wholesale outlet or food manufacturer (i.e. supplying other outlets) you will also need to contact the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). They will advise you about labelling, ingredients and preservative requirements.

How to register your food business

Depending on the scope of your food business, you will need to register to operate under either a Food Control Plan (FCP) or a National Programme (NP).

To find out which plan suits your business see the Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) website Where do I fit tool.

The two food control plans are:

  • template food control plan (template FCPs) - you build your plan from templates supplied by MPI and register with your local Council.
  • custom food control plans (custom FCPs) - you develop your own plan and register with MPI.

There are three levels of National Programmes, which are based on food safety risk of a business:

  • level 3 for higher risk (NP L3).
  • level 2 for medium risk (NP L2).
  • level 1 for lower risk (NP L1).

National programmes must be registered with South Waikato District Council. For more information see MPI.

1. Food Control Plan

Verification will be carried out by an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) within one month of registration if you are:

  • a new food business
  • a food business that was exempted from registration under Food Hygiene Regulations 1974
  • an existing food business with a change of ownership and registered under FCP.

Verification will be carried out by an EHO within 12 months of registration if you are an existing business which is now transitioning from operating under the Food Hygiene regulations 1974 to FCP.

Registration of a custom made food safety programme:

Some premises can choose to develop and register a food safety programme, which is based on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system.

The programme requires third party approval before it can be registered with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

For more information, see the Ministry for Primary Industries website. 

2. National programmes

At present, the council is not approved to complete verifications of National Programmes. The food business must nominate a third party verifier to complete verification. 

This must be included on the application for registration. For more information see MPI.

For food premises under National programmes, the verification will be carried out within one month of registration if you are:

  • a new food business
  • an existing food business with a change of ownership and falls under NP.

Verification will be carried out within six months of registration for NP L3 and one year of registration for NP L2 and L1 if you are an existing business which is now transitioning from operating under the Food Hygiene regulations 1974 to NP.

Food business currently registered under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974

All these food premises are subject to regular inspections and must meet the food hygiene standards contained in the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974

With the new Act comes into force from 1 March 2016, the Food Act 1981 has been replaced. A three-year transition period starts from 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2019. During this time, groups of food businesses will undergo a staggered transition process across to the new rules. At the end of this three-year period, all food businesses will be operating under the new requirements.

Download the timetable for moving to the Food Act 2014

Transition Timetable (Food Act 2014)

Food Control Plans

1 March 2016 to 30 June 20171 July 2017 to 30 June
1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019
Apply by 31 March 2017Apply by 31 March 2018Apply by 30 November 2018
Manufacturers of food for vulnerable populations.*Manufacturers of commercially sterilised food products.Manufacturers of vegetable protein and other protein products.
Manufacturers of fresh ready-to-eat salads.Manufacturers of meat, poultry or fish products. Businesses with a deemed food control plan.
Manufacturers of non-shelf stable sauces, spreads, dips, soups, broths, gravies or dressings.Manufacturers of dairy products. 
Food service sector – on-licence. For example restaurants, cafes, caterers and hotels.Manufacturers of processed egg products. 
 Manufacturers of meals and prepared food. 
 Wholesale bakers. 
 Food retailers who prepare or manufacture and sell food – including retail butchers, fishmongers, delis, and supermarkets 
 Food service sector – no on-licence. For example cafes, takeaways, caterers, accommodation businesses, hospitals, residential care and educational facilities, and prisons. 

* Find out more about vulnerable populations

National Programme 3

1 March 2016 to 30 June 20171 July 2017 to 30 June
1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019
 Apply by 31 March 2018Apply by 30 November 2018
 Processors of herbs or spices.Grain processors.
 Retailers who handle food (but do not prepare or manufacture food).Manufacturers of oils and fats for human consumption.
 Manufacturers of food additives, processing aids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients intended to be added to food.Manufacturers of dry mix powders.
 Manufacturers of non-alcoholic beverages.Brewers, distillers, manufacturers of vinegar, alcoholic beverages or malt extract.

National Programme 2

1 March 2016 to 30 June 20171 July 2017 to 30 June
1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019
Apply by 31 March 2017Apply by 31 March 2018Apply by 30 November 2018
Food services to pre-school children (including children under 5 years) in a centre-based setting.Retailers of manufacturer-packaged chilled and frozen food (excluding ice cream and iced confectionery).Manufacturers of shelf-stable grain-based products.
Processors of nuts or seeds.Manufacturers of confectionery.Manufacturers of crisps, popcorn, pretzels, soy crisps or similar snack products.
 Bakeries that prepare or manufacture bread or bread-derived products only.Manufacturers of dried or dehydrated fruit or vegetables.
  Manufacturers of water-based products including ice, iced confectionery and desserts.
  Manufacturers of shelf-stable condiments (including sauces, spreads and preserves).



Manufacturers of frozen fruit and vegetables.

National Programme 1

Businesses operating under National Programme 1 will transition to the new requirements between 1 July 2018 and 28 February 2019. You should apply by 30 November 2018 to register your National Programme 1 business.

The businesses in National Programme 1 are:

  • Retailers of hot beverages and shelf-stable manufacturer-packaged foods only.
  • Extractors and packers of honey.
  • Manufacturers of sugar or related products.
  • Transporters or distributors of food products.
  • Producers of horticultural food and horticultural packing operations (packhouses).
  • Retailers of manufacturer-packaged ice cream and iced confectionery.

Taking over a premises

If you take over an existing food premises, you need to notify us within 14 days of taking over the business and complete a form and pay the fee for transfer of registration.

When a new owner takes over an existing food business they will need to apply for a new FCP or NP depending on the scope of their business. See Food Act 2014.

If you are planning to make structural changes to an existing food premises then you need to speak to our Building Inspectors.

Temporary Food Stall and Farmers Market

Before applying, ensure you have all the necessary information to make an application at the right time:

  • Applications (form and fee) must be received at least fifteen (15) working days before the event.
  • Written consent required from registered kitchens.
  • Letter (on letter head) to request for waiver of application fee for fundraising stall for non-profit organisations.
  • You will need to be an approved stallholder for us to register you. To become an approved stallholder, you will need to get in touch with the event/market organiser.

All stallholders must make sure that all foods are purchased from and prepared at registered premises. All perishable foods need to be transported, stored and displayed below 5°C or above 60°C. Instructions from the officers regarding the handling, display and sale of food must be followed promptly. All food must be displayed in the same state in which it will be consumed. That means food such as cakes and scones must be pre-wrapped in cellophane, plastic or approved paper at the place it is made, and must stay wrapped until sold. Staff or volunteers handling food should not be handling other items as well.

Once you have been granted a registration certificate, you will need to make sure the permit is displayed or available for sighting on the day of the event. It's your responsibility to make sure that you are permitted to operate at your proposed site (a Use of a Public Place Permit must be obtained if operating at public places).


For procedures of making food complaints, please click here


Page reviewed: 17 Aug 2017 11:12am