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Food Bill passes its final reading

Food Bill passes its final reading

Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye today welcomed the unanimous support for the Food Bill during its third and final reading in Parliament.

“The Food Bill has received support from all parties. It has taken a long time to get here and a lot of work has been put in to developing this significant piece of legislation,” Ms Kaye says.

“The new Food Act will put in place a risk-based approach, where regulatory requirements are based on the extent and nature of the food safety risks associated with particular kinds of businesses. The new system will help to ensure that food safety laws are cost effective.

“The Act will focus on the activities that a food business carries out, rather than the premises from which it operates. A number of different kinds of businesses will have more flexibility and lower compliance costs than they face under the current ‘one size fits all’ regime.

There are also some provisions in the Act that concern recall powers and other powers that may be used in a food safety response. These provisions will take immediate effect as soon as the Act receives the Royal Assent.

“It was important to bring these provisions in to force as soon as possible so that government could respond to a major food safety event if one arose tomorrow,” Ms Kaye says.

The Act will provide New Zealand with a modern, flexible regulatory regime, which will enable food businesses to adapt to future changes in technology, overseas market access requirements, and consumer demands.

“The enactment of the Food Bill will not be the end of the law reform process. After enactment officials will develop regulations and guidance which will undergo a public consultation process.

“These regulations will determine the final shape of the Bill and can be used to further tailor how the Bill will apply to particular food sectors, or even individual businesses,” says Ms Kaye.

The period after enactment will also include close engagement with territorial authorities and food businesses, to ensure that everyone is ready for the transition to the new law.

Ends

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