Register a Food Business

If you operate a business that makes, serves, sells or transports food you may need to register with NPDC. Our environmental health team will check (verify) your business  to make sure you are meeting the requirements of your plan or programme and making food that is safe and suitable to eat.

There are different plans  and programmes depending on the type of business you run. The easiest way to work out the type of plan you need to use is to work your way through the My Food Rules tool on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website.

Food Control Plans and National Programmes

Many food businesses are registered under a food control plan or a national programme. Find out which one is right for your business by using My Food Rules. There is more information on food control plans and national programmes below. If your business is operating under a template food control plan or is in a national programme you can register with us. If you have a custom food control plan you will need to register with MPI.
Food Control Plans

Food control plans are used by businesses making or selling higher-risk food. Having a plan helps make sure the food you make is safe and that any risks are identified and managed. MPI has put together a range of food control plan templates that businesses can use. If you use a food control plan template you can register it with NPDC. If you prefer to create a custom food control plan you will need to register with MPI. To find out the type of food plan best suited to your business use the My Food Rules tool.

More information on template food control plans

National Programmes

National programmes are used by medium to low risk food businesses. You have to register your business, meet food safety standards and get checked regularly. There are three levels within the national programmes, to find out which rules apply to you check the My Food Rules tool. Businesses operating under a national programme can register with and be checked (verified) by NPDC. You can also chose to be verified by another recognised agency or person.

National Programme 1 is for lower risk businesses like:

  • transporters or distributors of food products
  • horticultural food producers and horticultural packing operations (packhouses)
  • retailers of manufacturer-packaged ice cream and iced confectionery.

National Programme 2 is for medium risk businesses like:

  • bread bakeries
  • food service in childcare centres for children under 5
  • manufacturers of jams, chips and confectionery 
  • manufacturers of shelf stable condiments like sauces and spreads. 

National Programme 3 is for higher risk businesses:

  • brewers and distillers
  • food additive manufacturers
  • retailers that handle food (but do not manufacture it).

For more information on the national programmes check out national programmes on the MPI website

Registering your business with NPDC

To register with NPDC under a template food control plan or national programme you will need to: 

  • complete and submit an application form and the relevant fee 
  • complete and submit a relevant Scope of Operations form for your business, you can find these forms on the MPI website.

Six weeks after you register with NPDC one of our verifiers will come and check your business. It is a good idea to register your business close to your opening date, this means you will be up running with your regular processes in place when we come and check that all food safety practices are in place.

Renewing your registration 

Once you are registered you will need to renew your registration annually if you are on a food control plan or every two years if you are on a national programme.

We will send you an email close to the time that your registration is due to expire. You will need to update your details and pay your registration fee

Compliance checks

We will come and check that you are continuing to comply with all Food Safety requirements at regular intervals, depending on the type of business you run.

  • Template Food Control Plans: at least once a year as long as the results of previous verifications are of an acceptable standard.
  • National Programmes
    • Level 3 (higher risk): verification will be required at least once every two years as long as the results of previous verifications are of an acceptable standard.
    • Level 2 (medium risk): verification will be required at least once every three years as long the results of previous verifications are of an acceptable standard and no compliance matters exist against the business.
    • Level 1 (lower risk): no subsequent verifications are required unless the initial verification resulted in an unacceptable outcome, or compliance matters exist. 

New food business? How we can help

In addition to our Environmental Health Team, you can also work with our planning and building consents teams to ensure you meet all the relevant health and building regulations.

The Planning Team can offer advice on our District Plan and information on parking requirements, advertising and likely future patterns of development in that area.

Building Consent Officers can help with construction requirements, change of use conditions, grease traps, plumbing and drainage, egress, number of sanitary fixtures and access for disabled people. A building consent will be required for any work done.

The Environmental Health Officers can provide information on health requirements, inspections and the issue of registration to sell food.

Contact us for more information.

Alcohol licensing

If you intend to sell alcohol on your premises or have patrons bring alcohol for consumption on the premises while dining, you will need to apply for the appropriate licence as a requirement of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. Alcohol cannot be sold until a separate licence has been obtained.

Smoke-free Environments Act 1990

This act prohibits any person to smoke in the indoor area of a hospitality venue. This includes indoor workplaces, restaurants, cafes, eateries, casinos or gaming machine rooms and licensed premises. 

An indoor area is enclosed by walls, sides, screens or similar surfaces (including closable openings such as windows and doors) and an overhead surface such as a ceiling. Open decks, verandas, gardens and open-sided gazebos are not considered "indoors" so  the smoke-free provisions do not apply. In this instance, proprietors may choose to allow people to smoke in these areas.