Food Businesses


​​​Food Act 2014

The new Food Act comes into effect on 1 March 2016. This national legislation is about making sure that the food businesses prepare and sell is safe and suitable to eat.

Under the Act, Council will:
  • issue the required registration for your food business
  • perform the necessary food safety verifications (inspections/audits) for Food Control Plans.
The Food Act requires that all food businesses register under a template Food Control Plan or a national programme, depending on the type of business.

Changes under the Food Act 2014

The Food Act 2014 promotes food safety by focussing on the processes of food production and not the premises where it is made.

The new Act requires businesses that are higher risk, from a food safety point of view, to operate under more stringent food safety requirements than lower-risk food businesses.

Depending on the type of business you have, you may:
  • need to operate under a Food Control Plan (FCP)
  • need to operate under a national programme
  • be exempt (i.e. not need to operate under a Food Control Plan or national programme).

How do the new rules affect me?

The Ministry for Primary Industries' tool Where Do I Fit? can help you work out where your food activity or business fits within the new Food Act rules.

Taking over an existing Food premises

When a new owner takes over an existing food premises they will need to register either a Food Control Plan or a National Programme under the Food Act.   See here for information on food control plans.

To notify Council change of ownership of a registered premises - see he​re.​

How to sign up

From 1 March 2016, we will start registering existing business under the Food Act 2014. 

If you have already adopted a food control plan early under our Voluntary Implementation Programme (VIP) you have until 30 November 2018 to apply under the new Act. You can choose to operate under the new Food Act at any time before this date.

The first business to transition will be on-licences in the food service sector:
  • restaurants
  • caterers
  • cafes
  • hotels.

Application Forms

Application for Registration Form - Food Act 2014 - Only One Site (PDF, 226KB)
Application for registration under Food Act 2014 - A food business with more than one site, all in this Council's area. (PDF, 236KB)
MPI Food Control Plan Template Purchase Order Form (PDF, 200KB)
Notification of change of ownership of registered premises (PDF, 197KB)
Notification of change of ownership for Food Control Plan or National Programme - single site (PDF, 278KB)
Notification of change of ownership for Food Control Plan or National Programme - multi site (PDF, 289KB)
Out of District Food Premise Verification Click here to apply online
Out of District Food Premise Verification Application form (250KB)

When do I need to transition?

Existing businesses will transition to the new Act between 2016 and 2019. When you need to transition depends on the type of business you have.

You can choose to transition an existing business any time between 1 March 2016 and the end of your listed transition period. 

Transition timetable

Transition periods for food control plans and national programmes are listed below. 

Food Control Plans

1 March 2016 to 30 June 2017 

Apply by 31 March 2017.
Food service sector, with an alcohol licence:

  • restaurants
  • cafes
  • caterers
  • hotels.

You need to register a custom made food control plan with MPI if you manufacture:

  • food for vulnerable populations
  • fresh ready-to-eat salads
  • non-shelf stable sauces, spreads, dips, soups, broths, gravies or dressing

1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 

Apply by 31 March 2018.
Food service sector, without an alcohol licence:

  • cafes
  • takeaways
  • caterers
  • accommodation businesses
  • hospitals
  • residential care and educational facilities
  • prisons.
Food retailers who prepare or manufacture and sell food:
  • retail butchers
  • fishmongers
  • delis
  • supermarkets.
You need to register a custom made food control plan with MPI if you manufacture:
  • meals and prepared food
  • commercially sterilised food products
  • meat, poultry or fish products
  • dairy products
  • processed egg products.

1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019

Apply by 30 November 2018
Businesses who adopted a food control plan early under our Voluntary  Implementation Programme (VIP).

You need to register a custom made food control plan with MPI if you manufacture:

  • vegetable protein and other protein products.

National Programme 3

1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 

Apply by 31 March 2018
Retailers who handle food (but do not prepare or manufacture food).
Manufactures of:
  • non-alcoholic beverages.
  • food additives, processing aids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients
  • intended to be added to food
  • processers of herbs or spices.

1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019

Apply by 30 November 2018

  • Grain processors.
Manufacturers of:
  • dry mix powders
  • oils and fats for human consumption
  • vinegar, alcoholic beverages or malt extract.
  • brewers
  • distillers
  • grain processors

National Programme 2

1 March 2016 to 30 June 2017

Apply by 31 March 2017
  • Processers of nuts or seeds.
  • food services to pre-school children (including children under 5 years) in a centre-based setting.

1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018

Apply by 31 March 2018

  • Retailers of manufacturer-packaged chilled and frozen food (excluding ice cream and iced confectionery).
  • Bakeries that prepare or manufacture bread or bread-derived products only.
  • Manufacturers of confectionery.

1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019

Apply by 30 November 2018
Manufacturers of:

  • shelf-stable grain-based products
  • crisps, popcorn, pretzels, soy crisps or similar snack products
  • dried or dehydrated fruit or vegetables
  • water-based products including ice, iced confectionery and desserts
  • shelf-stable condiments (including sauces, spreads and preserves)
  • frozen fruit and vegetables.

National Programme 1

1 July 2018 to 28 February 2019- 

Apply by 30 November 2018

  • Retailers of hot beverages and shelf-stable manufacturer-packaged foods only.
  • Retailers of manufacturer-packaged ice cream and iced confectionery.
  • Manufacture sugar or related products.
  • Extract and pack honey.
  • Transport or distribute food products.
  • Produce horticultural food and horticultural packing operations (pack houses).

If you undertake multiple food activities

Some food businesses carry out many different types of food activities (e.g. supermarket with a bakery).

When this happens, your business can choose whether to use a mix of food control plans and national programmes, or whether to use just one of these. If you choose to use a single system, it must be at the highest level.

What is a Food Control Plan?

A template Food Control Plan (FCP) is a step by step guide on food safety procedures that can be tailored to suit the needs of your business.

It's a management tool for food business operators. It includes pre-printed records, forms and a diary.

Operating with the FCP will help your business meet its food safety and suitability requirements and demonstrate your commitment to food safety.

View the Ministry for Primary Industries' video to learn more about Food Control Plans.

You can view or print the template FCP and diary from the Ministry for Primary Industries website. Printed copies are available at cost from Council's Barkes Corner office.

Changes to home based business under the Food Act 2014

From 1 March 2016, a wide range of food sectors will be able to use domestic kitchens under a template FCP. You will need to register your Food Control Plan with Council.

You will also need to meet all other legal requirements under the District Plan, bylaws and other relevant acts and regulations. 

What is a National Programme?

A national programme is used by lower risk food businesses to ensure that food safety procedures are undertaken on site.  All national programmes require operators to keep food records to show that they are selling safe food. 

A food safety guide for national programmes is available. National programmes are levels 1-3 based on the business food safety risk

Fees and Charges - Food Control Plans and National Programmes

​Here you will find the fees and charges for Food Control Plans and National Programmes​ (PDF, 136KB - updated June 2018)

Who registers my food business?

Registering with your council

You must register with your local council if your business:
  • is based in one council district
  • is a mobile business (such as food stalls at events) or an online business – in which case you must register with the local council where your business is based.
Forms for registration with Council are available here

Registering with MPI

If you operate from fixed places (shops or packing houses) in more than one area, you have a choice. You can either:
  • register each place separately with each local council
  • register them all with MPI.
To register with MPI you will need:
  • a completed registration form available on MPI website
  • a completed scope of operation form specific to your type of business
  • a letter from a verifier or auditor to say that they will verify you (see Step 3)
  • address details for all the places where you make or sell food. If you're registering with MPI then you must be operating a food business from more than one address. You will need to include each address on your registration form
  • a copy of the Companies Act registration certificates for any parts of your business that are limited liability companies.

Who will Audit or inspect my food business?

All premises that operate with a template Food Control Plan will be verified/audited by their local Council.

If you operate under a National Programme you are required to choose your verifier, Councils can verify national programmes only if they have approved verifiers.  Western Bay Council cannot verify national programmes at this time.

A list of all approved verifiers is available.

Exemptions from Registration

You don't need a food control plan or programme if you are:
  • selling food for fundraising less than 20 times a year. Fundraising activities include sausage sizzles, raffles and charity events
  • sharing food with others at sports clubs, social clubs or marae where food is not the purpose of the event. For example, providing nibbles at a bowling club games night or serving food at a tangi.
Types of businesses that don't need a food control plan or programme include:
  • home-based childcare providers who prepare food for children in their care
  • small accommodation operators who provide food to less than 10 guests
  • growers selling unprocessed, home-grown fruit and vegetables directly to consumers, such as at farm gates or farmers markets
  • people who sell only pre-packaged foods that don't need refrigeration or freezing, like packets of biscuits or cans of food.

Out of District Verifications

Western Bay of Plenty District Council is a recognised agency to undertake Food premises verifications for National Programmes 1, 2 and 3.  Verifications under the recognised agency status can be undertaken outside of the Western Bay District.


Please see the info sheet below for all the information about the Out of District process and the application form.  We have an electronic application that is sent directly to the right place in Council, all you need to do is fill it in and submit it.

Information sheet for verification services with Western Bay of Plenty District Council (305KB)
Click here to apply online
Application form (250KB)

Page reviewed: 20 Sep 2018 1:26pm