Keyword: #foodpremises

Food Premises
Ngā Wāhi Kai

In this section you'll find all the information you need to know about opening or running your food business and complying with the Food Act 2014.

Registration of food businesses

All food businesses require a food registration under the Food Act 2014 unless you fit under one of the MPI exemptions listed on their website. If you own or are thinking of opening your own food business in the Ōtorohanga District you need to understand and follow an appropriate plan (food control plan) or programme (national programme) under the Food Act 2014. The plan or programme that will apply to you depends on the nature of your food business. 

Food Control Plan or National Programme

First you need to have a food control plan or national programme. Find out which plan is most appropriate for your food business on the Ministry for Primary Industries website and use the ‘My Food Rules’ tool. See which plan is right for you on the MPI website.

Food Control Plan 

You will need a Food Control Plan if you operate a:

  • café, restaurant, takeaway, lunch bar, bakery, catering company
  • butcher, fish shop, supermarket with an onsite butchery or a delicatessen

National Programme 

Lower and medium risk businesses follow a national programme. If you're under a national programme, you don't need a written plan (or develop written procedures), but must register, meet food safety standards, keep some records, and get checked. Like food control plans, national programmes require food businesses to develop a system to demonstrate food is safe to eat and you are compliant with the Food Act 2014.

There are three levels of national programmes, which are based on the food safety risk of the activities a business does:

  • Level 1 – lower risk (for businesses that operate a coffee cart and sell hot beverages and shelf-stable food only)
  • Level 2 – medium risk (for businesses that only bake bread).
  • Level 3 – higher risk (for businesses that only handle food but don’t prepare or manufacture food, for example, a dairy or a service station)

Guidance documents are available from MPI for food businesses working under national programmes, to help you manage food safety risks. However, businesses will need to assess the material and apply it to your premises as appropriate. This may involve developing your own processes in order to manage food safety risks at your business. Visit the MPI website national programmes page

If you are registering under a National Programme, you will need to engage a Verification Agency, who can confirm the verification service for your business. 


  1. Registrations of food control plans are valid for one year, while those for national programmes are valid for two years.
  2. For new businesses registered under the Food Act 2014, an initial verification will be conducted within six weeks of an application being approved.
  3. A certificate of registration is issued upon Council receiving and approving an application. 
  4. Once approval is granted, your business can operate.
  5. Please be aware that it is illegal to begin operating before an appropriate registration is approved and premises may be subject to infringement fines if they ignore this requirement.

Renewal of registration

All registrations under the Food Act 2014 need to be renewed before they expire. Under the Food Act 2014, registration authorities are not permitted to renew any expired registrations. Businesses using a food control plan currently have to renew their registration each year and those using a national programme every two years.

Change of ownership

New operators have two options when taking over a food business,

  1. To register a notification of significant change or
  2. Register as a new food business 

There are costs and benefits to both options. If you are unsure which option is best for you, please contact the environmental health officer to discuss.

Read text aloud