Food Premises Registration

What activities require a registration?

Any food for sale must be made, stored and sold by a registered business. This includes but is not limited to activities like cafes, restaurants, day care centres that provide food, supermarkets, bakeries, caterers, makers of preserves and jams, confectionary, olive oils and any other items prepared for consumption as food.

Why do I need a 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 risk-based measure your business is following in order to meet the requirements of the current Food Safety legislation, regulations, standards and Council bylaws. 

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

How do I register my business?

All food businesses must register under the Food Act 2014 unless covered by the Animal Products Act 1999 or the Mine Act 2003.  Failure to register will result in your business trading illegally and enforcement action. 

The Food Act 2014 introduces the new term “risk-based measure” to describe food safety processes such as National Programmes and Food Controls Plans etc.  

Timeline for transition for different types of premises

Food Control Plans (FCP) – written plans that manage food safety matters on a day-to-day basis typically for higher risk food businesses. There are two types of food control plans; a Custom Food Control Plan written by the food business and registered with MPI or a Template Food Control Plan, a template provided by MPI and registered with Council.

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 –  Print your plan or programme

Download or print your FCP or NP, this document must be available on site and followed. The FCP will need to be filled out and tailored to your business, you can remove any pages which are not applicable.

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 – Find a verifier to check your business.

A new business will need to be verified within six weeks after registering. An extension of 6 weeks may be granted with a valid reason, such as the business has not started trading.

If operating under a FCP your verifier will be South Wairarapa District Council. If operating under a NP you will need to find an external verifier. An external verifier can be found using the link below.

External verifier list.

Step 3 – Register your food business

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 business registration form

You will need to complete a Scope of Operations form to accompany your registration. 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.

You will need to complete a Scope of Operations form to accompany your registration. 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

Make an appointment to come into 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 Custom Food Control Plans or Risk Management Programs (RMP) which must be registered with MPI – please contact the Council Environmental Services team or MPI for more information.

How do I renew my 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.

New Food Businesses:

New food businesses registered for the first time will need to have their Food Control Plan or National Programme verified within six weeks of registration.

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:

Food Control Plans are verified by Council.  Contact us at 06 306 9611 or to arrange a verification. 

Premises who achieve two consecutive Acceptable verification outcomes will see a decrease in the verification frequency (longer time between verifications). Premises that receive an Unacceptable verification outcome will have an increase in their verification frequency.

Verification Frequency Table

Booking your verification

Contact your verifier to arrange a verification.  Verifications can be Scheduled or Unscheduled.  A scheduled verification will occur at the agreed date.  An unscheduled verification can occur as a result of a complaint made against a business, failure to close-out a previous verification, or at any time at the Registration Authority’s discretion where there is cause for concern.

Verification process

Your verifier will come and assess your business against your Food Control Plan/National Programme.  Please ensure records are available on site for the verifier.  The day-to-day manager of your Food Control Plan/National Programme should be on site and prepared to discuss any topics as required by the verifier.  The verification will cover your processes, records, Food Safety management, hygiene and cleanliness of your premises.

After your verification

Following your verification, a report will be sent to you outlining any Corrective Actions Required (CARs), recommendations and feedback from your verifier.  The report will state the outcome of your verification, your verification frequency going forward and the date that corrective actions are required to be completed by.  You must provide evidence of the completion of these actions to your verifier by the close-out date on the report.  For Template Food Control Plan businesses, part of the close-out process is the payment of the verification invoice.  Your verification will not be closed out until this is paid.  Failure to close-out your verification can result in enforcement action.

Your verification outcome, frequency and Corrective Actions Required are reported directly to MPI for their national database.

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 regard to the above information, please contact the Council Environmental Services team, we are always happy to help you.

Smoke-Free Environments Amendment Bill 2020:

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 commenced on 11 November 2020. The provisions of the Act are being phased in over a 15-month period. Please refer to the timeline flow chart below from the Ministry of Health website.

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