Food Premises Registration

Any food for sale must be made, stored in and sold from registered premises. This includes, but is not limited to, places like cafes, bakeries, artisans making food in a specialty kitchen, restaurants and supermarkets. Food for sale cannot be produced in a home kitchen.

What is Registration?

The purpose of registration is to notify and record the existence of your food business with the local Council and central Government (MPI).  It also informs Council and MPI what Food Safety system your business is following in order to meet the requirements of the current national Food Safety legislation and Council bylaws. 

South Wairarapa District Council has a Food Safety Bylaw which contains compulsory requirements for food businesses.  Registration enables the public to have confidence that the food business has systems in place to produce safe and suitable food.

It is an offence to operate food premises without a certificate of registration or without qualifying for an exemption. Food operators that are exempt from registration requirements are outlined in Schedule 3 of the Food Act 2014.

Getting registered

All general food premises must be registered as operating under the Food Act 2014 once the transition period has ended on 28 February 2019.  Until this time, businesses can continue to operate under the old food safety legislation (Food Act 1981 and Food Hygiene Regulations 1974).

The Food Act 2014 introduces the new term “risk based measure” to describe food safety processes like Food Safety Programmes, Food controls Plans etc.  

The need to transition to the Food Act 2014 applies to new food businesses and to existing food businesses who may already have an approved Food Safety Programme or similar operating.  As the Food Act 1981 has been updated to the Food Act 2014, you are required to transition onto an updated risk based measure. 

Timeline for transition for different types of premises

There are two types of risk based measure which are described below:

Food Control Plans (FCP) – written plans that manage food safety matters on a day-to-day basis and are typically for higher risk food businesses. There are two types of food control plans; a custom food control plan which is written by the food business or a template food control plan which is a template developed by MPI and applied by a food business.

National Programmes (NP) – food safety rules that need to be followed and are typically for medium and low risk food businesses. There are three levels of National Programmes which cover different types of food businesses according to their risk (medium or low risk).

A registration under the Food Act 2014, will be for one of the risk based measures described above. In order to register your food business with council, you must have the processes relevant for the appropriate “risk based measure” ready to be operate in your premises.

To find out which type of risk based measure applies to your business answer the short quiz at the following MPI link: After answering the “Where do I fit” quiz you will be prompted to follow 3 steps to complete your registration:

Step 1 - Personalised Food Safety information

Enables you to quickly create a personalised FCP or NP for your business. Answer the second short quiz and download your personalised guidance. This will equip you with the food safety information you need and remove any pages that aren’t applicable to your business.

FCP only: Download the blank Food Business Records. These are the records that you will need to fill out regularly e.g. temperature records.

MPI Food Business records- Blanks

Step 2 - Scope of Operations

The Scope of Operations records your business details and information about the types of food handling carried out by your business. Download, print and fill out the Scope of Operations. You will need to have your scope filled out in order to complete your Registration

Scope of Operations document

Step 3 - Registration:

Food Control Plans and National Programmes must be registered by either a local Council or MPI. The following form shows who the registration authority is for each type of food business.

Registration authority matrix

If Council is your registration authority, please print and complete the Premises Registration form below. This form should be supplied to Council along with the requested information and payment in order for Council to register your food business.

Food premises registration form

Make an appointment to come in to council and see a member of the Environmental Services team. Bring your Premises Registration form and Scope of Operations and we will check these with you and answer any queries you may have.  Your Registration Certificate will be sent to your premises.

Note:  There are certain types of food businesses who will require slightly different food safety registrations such as Risk Management Programs (RMP) - please contact the Council Environmental Services team or MPI for more information.

Renewing your registration

Premises registrations are required to be renewed. This is a flat fee paid to council.  The time frame for renewal is usually every 12 months for FCP and 24 months for NP from the date of the last registration.

Registration renewal is conducted by re-submitting the same information as required for the first registration but should be updated to reflect the current operations of the food business.


Environmental Health Officers from Council or External Verifiers will conduct regular checks to make sure you are complying with the Food Act 2014.  Verifications have an outcome of either Acceptable or Unacceptable.

Transitioned Food Businesses:

Existing businesses that have transitioned to an FCP or NP need a verification to be completed within 12 months of registering their FCP or NP.

New Food Businesses:

New food businesses that have been registered for the first time will need to have their FCP or NP verified within six weeks of registration.

Food Control Plans are verified by a qualified member of the Council Environmental Services team. Contact us at 06 306 9611 or to arrange a verification. 

National Programs are verified by an External verifier. The appropriate registration authority (MPI or Council) will be notified of your verification outcome.  To find an External Verifier please use the MPI link below:

Premises who achieve two consecutive Acceptable verification outcomes will see a decrease in the verification frequency (longer time between verifications). 

Verification Frequency Table

Making changes to your Food Control Plan or National Programme

It is possible to change aspects of your food business after you have initiated your FCP or NP and registered your food premises.

Significant Amendments

Some changes will be deemed “Significant Amendments” and will require you to re-register your FCP or NP.

A significant amendment is any change that introduces new food safety risks to your food requiring your current FCP or NP to be amended to control these new risks e.g. renovating your premises, making a new type of food, changing the equipment you use.

Other smaller scale changes will not require you to re-register your current FCP or NP, for example updating your contact details or changing your external verifier.  We recommend getting in touch with council to discuss your proposed changes before you make them.  More information is available on the MPI website.

Changes to Registered FCP

You must notify Council if you are selling your food business to enable the registration details to be updated in the Council and on the MPI records.  If you purchase an existing food business there is a fee to transfer the registration into your name. The transfer must be completed within 14 days of the purchase of the premises for the registration to remain valid.

Registration transfer

If you wish to suspend or surrender your registration, please contact Council as soon as possible.

Food stalls

Any food business looking to trade in the South Wairarapa district is encouraged to contact Council to ensure you comply with local Council Bylaws.  Depending on the nature of your stall you may require either a Food Stall Licence or a Hawkers Licence. 

Any person who sells food must ensure it is safe and suitable. This requirement for safe and suitable food is also required when food is supplied/provided. As such, food stall holders must ensure standard food hygiene requirements are followed such as handwashing, thorough cooking etc.  If you have a registered food business, please attach a copy of your registration certificate to your food stall application.  Contact the Environmental Services team at Council if you have any questions.

Application to operate a Food Stall

Complaints about food premises

Contact us with complaints about food premises that include:

  • Cleanliness
  • Rubbish outside
  • No licenses
  • Food storage concerns
  • Bad smells
  • Safety concerns
  • Illness

Complaints about the taste or presentation of the food, or the quality of service should always be discussed with the manager of the food premises.


Major events like festivals can require any or all of our licenses and consents. Visit our Events Management page to see which licenses and consents may apply.

Sale of alcohol

If you intend to sell alcohol on your premises or have patrons bring it in 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. Visit our Alcohol Licensing page to find out which licence you need.

Smoke-Free Environments Amendment Bill 2003

As of 10 December 2004 people may not smoke in the indoor area of a hospitality venue. This includes indoor workplaces, cafes, eateries, casinos or gaming machine rooms and licensed premises. Open decks, verandas, gardens and open-sided gazebos are permitted smoking areas if the proprietor wishes.


If you have any queries or questions in regards to the above information, please contact the Council Environmental Services team, we are always happy to help you.