Food premises

If you are planning on selling food, you will need a Food Act Registration. A registration sets out the steps for food businesses to follow to make kai that is safe to eat.

Businesses making or selling higher-risk foods are more likely to register under a food control plan.

The Food Act 2014 (The Act) requires all businesses selling food to register, unless they fit into a small group of exemptions. We ensure that businesses follow the Food Act 2014. 

Types of Food Act Registrations

There are a range of different types registrations, this depends on the type of food you are serving and how it is prepared.

Your business will be in one of the following categories:

  • Template Food Control Plan - people who manufacture and prepare food
  • National Programme 3 - e.g. a dairy that scoops ice cream and bags lollies
  • National Programme 2 - e.g. a manufacturer of low risk food (ice, sauces, spreads)
  • National Programme 1 - e.g. coffee carts
  • Custom Food Control Plan - you must register with Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), not Council.

This is to ensure all food sold or traded must be safe and suitable for people to eat. Our team will help you through the process, let you know the cost and you will develop a food control plan that best suits your business. Related fees are listed on Food premises fee page:

Food premises fees

Do you need to register?

Here are some questions to consider:  

  • Are you selling food? If yes – you need a registration, if no then you don’t.
  • Are you fundraising? See information on bottom of this page, under Fundraising and sausage sizzle.
  • Are you a school? Guidance on Schools - What does the Food Act mean for me? (mpi.govt.nz)
  • Are you a home baker? Yes, you will need a food control plan.
  • Are you a hairdresser? If you are not selling food, then you don’t need a food control plan.

If you want to sell and make food, it is a requirement in the Food Act (2014) to have a Registration. Here are some examples of how it works for businesses:

Food Act case studies - NZ Government (mpi.govt.nz)

When you don’t need to register

Some small-scale businesses that handle food don't need to register. These include:

  • if you are fundraising and sell food fewer than 20 times a year (for example, sausage sizzles and charity fundraisers)
  • some ECE providers who provide food for children in their care, that prepare the food as part of the curriculum
  • small accommodation providers, or accommodation providers who only provide breakfast or snacks
  • clubs, organisations and societies who sometimes sell food at member events.

Exemptions from plans or programmes – MPI

Registration, verification and fees

The process

Step 1.Choose category

To begin this process, you need to know what category your business sits under so you know which template to use.

Food control plans and National Programmes

Step 2.Complete forms

Once you know which plan or programme you need, then fill out an application for your business: 

Single site food registration form

National Programme businesses may choose either an independent verifier or Council's verifier to carry out an audit. Either way, you still need to register.

If you choose us as your National Programme verifier, please complete the below application form and submit it with your application.

National Programme Verification(PDF, 55KB)

The verification is a flat rate fee.

Food premises fees

Step 3.Pay invoice

Once you have applied, you will receive an invoice either via email or through the post. Please pay this invoice.

Step 4.We will contact you

Once the invoice is paid, one of our team members will call you to talk through the rest of the process.

Step 5.Receive the Certificate of Registration

Once the registration fee has been paid, we will then issue a Registration Certificate for your food business. This will be sent to you via post.

Step 6.Initial verification

Within six weeks of registering your food business, an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) will contact you to arrange a suitable date and time to carry out initial verification.

Step 7.Registration renewal

Food Control Plans are renewed annually, National Programmes bi-annually. We will send you an invoice to renew your registration which must be paid before your registration expiry date. Should your registration lapse, you will be required to re-register. 

You will receive your renewed Registration Certificate once payment has been received. Upfront payment of registration and verifications is required.

By email

Email completed application documents to:

Email: mailroom@wdc.govt.nz

By post

Post your completed form and documents to us:

Whangarei District Council 
Private Bag 9023
Te Mai
Whangārei 0143

In person

Bring your completed form and documents into one of our Customer Service centres.

Forum North customer service centre
7 Rust Avenue, Whangārei
Monday to Friday - 8:00am to 4:30pm
Closes:  2:00pm on 23 December 2022
Reopens:  8:00am on 9 January 2023

Ruakākā service centre 
9 Takutai Place, Ruakākā
Monday to Friday - 8:30am to 4:00pm
Closes:  2:00pm on 23 December 2022
Reopens:  8:30am on 9 January 2023

If you are selling food to raise funds, or for charity, it must be safe and suitable. That means, it must be safe to eat - no one should get sick from eating your food.

Under the Act:

You don't have to register if you are selling food:

  • to raise funds for charity, cultural or community groups less than 20 times per year provided by members of sports clubs, social clubs or maraes - where food is not the purpose of the event
  • -once in a calendar year at an event such as a local fair.

You do have to register if you are:

  • fundraising more than 20 times per year
  • catering events at clubs, or selling food at club bars or restaurants
  • bartering or exchanging food commercially selling food commercially at fairs, markets, or community events more than once per year.

Food Control Plans are renewed annually, National Programmes bi-annually.

We will send you an invoice to renew your registration which must be paid before your registration expiry date. Should your registration lapse, you will be required to re-register.

You will receive your renewed Registration Certificate once payment has been received.

You can find out due date for next verification from your EHO or your verification report. You will be invoiced once the verification has been completed.

If applicable, a Grading Certificate is issued once payment has been received.

If you require a re-visit, there may be extra fees. Fees include travel time and administration costs.

If your EHO finds problems with your food safety, you will be verified more frequently.

If you are making any structural changes to the existing building, you may require a Building Consent. 

Building Consents

Please discuss this with a Building Officer.

If you are not the property owner, you must get written consent from the person who owns the property. They must confirm that they have given permission for you to operate a food business from this premises.

The following external links and legislation can help you.