Soon you will be able to submit via Business Connect!

We are about to launch Business Connect, a cross-agency digital services platform that provides one place for businesses to deal with government. With Business Connect, registering a food business will be easier and more streamlined. Once you register to use Business Connect, most of your business details will be pre-populated thanks to integration with the New Zealand Business Number.

Overall, Business Connect aims to make things easier for small and medium business owners in New Zealand and offer a more consistent user experience across a range of application forms. Some of the benefits include:

  • one place to go to fulfil compliance requirements and track interactions across government
  • making regular renewals quick and easy through pre-populating information
  • sending automated renewal reminders for businesses
  • providing notifications on changes to application status
  • saving important documents to be reused in future.

To find out more, head to our Business Connect page. 

Council Licences

Council licences regulate certain activities relating to public health to ensure that they are conducted according to appropriate standards.

This is done to avoid any harmful effects on community health, safety and general well-being.

Activities which require Council Licences are:

  • Operation of premises where food is prepared for consumption
  • Selling items in public places or from vehicles (requires Hawkers or mobile traders licence)
  • Funeral directors
  • Offensive trades (activities likely to produce offensive odours and/or health risk)
  • Hairdressers and barbers (in some circumstances)
  • Discharge of Trade Waste into a council sewer or stormwater drain

Food Licensing

Registration of Food Businesses

Local councils will have a role in the registration of food businesses and will keep a record of:

  • food businesses selling food
  • the type of food sold
  • where the businesses are located etc.

Businesses are required to register with the local authority on a yearly basis, and local authorities will issue Certificates of Registration under the Food Act 2014 which will be subject to an annual fee. 

Food activities which are subject to registration include those operating template Food Control Plans and National Programmes (Levels 3, 2 and 1). 

Operators of custom Food Control Plans will be required to register directly with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).

Food Safety Requirements

The Food Act 2014 was enforced on 1 March 2016 and takes a risk-management approach to food. 

Food Regulations 2015 was also enforced on 1 March 2016, which coincides with the start of a three-year transition period for food businesses, ending on 28 February 2019. 

At the end of the three years, all food businesses will be operating risk-management based systems to ensure food is safe and suitable for human consumption.

The Food Act applies to all businesses that make, sell, grow, transport, or trade in food.  It also applies to businesses that serve food like school canteens and clubs.

For more information about the new Food Act, please visit: the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

Please, direct questions to MPI on its food safety helpline: 0800 693 721 or by email at [email protected]

You may also contact an Environmental Health Officer at Otorohanga District Council on 07 873 4000.

Liquor Licensing

If you are planning to sell or supply  alcohol to the public you will need to apply for a licence under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. All applications for licences and managers' certificates are determined by the District Licensing Committee.
The requirements for licenses and certificates and the criteria to be considered for granting them are set out in the Act and Regulations.

More in-depth information on the provisions of the Act is available on the Ministry of Justice website

A licence issued according to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 is required in order to sell alcohol to the public.

A licensed premises must be operated by a qualified or certified manager. They should hold a qualification such as the Licence Controllers Qualification (LCQ), for example.

This requirement applies to all venues, from a tavern to a one-off event. 

Licences to sell alcohol are not transferable. If you take over or purchase another business, a new licence application must be made.

Special Licences for funerals are unforseen and can still be made on a case-by-case basis. Contact Council to discuss your needs.

District Licensing Committee

Ōtorohanga District Council has appointed a District Licensing Committee according to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The Council has given authority to this Committee to receive, process, investigate and determine all applications for licenses and managers certificates within its area. 

The Ōtorohanga District Licensing Inspector will work with the Police and the Medical Officer of Health to deal with reporting, monitoring and enforcing the requirements of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.  

Please visit our Liquor Licencing – Fees and Charges page for liquor licence fees and manager certificate application costs. 

Visit our Council Forms page for application forms.


Other Licensing

Local authorities have a statutory responsibility to improve, protect and promote public health.including the registration and inspection of a number of different types of premises such as:

This includes the registration and inspection of various types of premises such as:

  • Hairdressers and Barbers (Health (Hairdressers) Regulations 1980)
  • Funeral Directors and Mortuaries (Health (Burial) Regulations 1946)
  • Offensive Trades (Health Act 1956)
  • Mobile and Travelling Shops, Hawkers and Itinerant Traders (Bylaws)

Operators of any of the above are required to comply with the relevant regulations. Council's Environmental Health Officer can provide more information on these requirements.



See our Council Forms page for application forms.