Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Council needs to look at its own regime

Council needs to look at its own regime before attacking Govt’s Food Bill

Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer has released information he obtained under the Local Government Official Information & Meetings Act regarding Auckland Council’s much vaunted new Food Safety Bylaw which replaced seven different bylaws from the former councils on 1 July 2013.

Mr Brewer says the council’s official responses are alarmingly light around assurances he sought that high-risk food prepared in the likes of Auckland’s many night markets is now safer as has been publicly promised. Also worryingly, he says, there’s still no certainty that those required to use a commercial kitchen are in fact doing so and that any outbreaks of food poisoning can be more readily traced.
“The fact that there’s only been one prosecution in six months for breaching this new bylaw is telling. It shows that while inspectors may have conducted a softly softly mentoring campaign with the likes of wayward stallholders, more rigorous enforcement and a real clampdown on the cowboys is seemingly yet to happen.

“Most consumers would’ve hoped this new bylaw would have delivered a tougher regime but many will be disappointed to learn that there’s been just one prosecution and that was only for someone failing to display a health grade. The real worry is that the high-risk cowboy ‘chew and spew’ operators are continuing to serve unsafe food which one day may have dire consequences.”

According to the council’s website: ‘Auckland Council has adopted a food safety bylaw to increase the safety of food sold to the public. This will minimise the potential risks of food bought from food premises, food hawkers, food stalls and mobile food shops.’

“We’ve all been promised that food Aucklanders buy from the likes of food-stalls and night markets would be safer.

“However the council is still unable to give any concrete assurances or even provide any empirical data to show that high-risk food is now more likely to be professionally and safely prepared for public consumption. That’s not overly reassuring.

“And it’s hard to get any comfort that an outbreak of food poisoning could now be more easily and reliably traced, not helped by the fact the region’s food licences still sit across seven different databases, that varying service levels and standards still apply, as well as differing fees.

“What this all shows is that achieving consistency and accountability around food safety has still got a long way to go. It’s still impossible to gage whether high-risk food in the likes of Auckland’s popular night markets is in fact safer or not.

“I have been alerted to some horror stories about high-risk food still not being safely prepared and alarmingly it seems the council is still unable to measure whether the use of commercial kitchens is now more prevalent or not despite the public promises and bylaw changes.

“Many operators at the coalface have got plenty of horror stories but many are too afraid to publicly speak out or report anything to council. They know that would risk their relationship with likes of night market managers and council inspectors and just they can’t afford to risk their livelihoods. But people do need to speak out for the sake of other people’s health.

“Last year the public was promised that food safety at the likes of night markets would improve around Auckland. However, it remains impossible to determine where, how and if that has yet happened. Consumers need to keep vigilant until the council can offer some real assurances that it’s completely on top of all this and show that improvements have been made.”

Mr Brewer says he is surprised that with Auckland Council taking such a light-handed approach to prosecutions, improving data, and public assurances, the same council officials are now publicly critical of the Government’s draft Food Bill which they claim could compromise food safety.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Kim Regime

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US had a very clear objective and eventually offered a quid pro quo of the removal of some of its own missiles from Turkey. This time, there’s no clarity about what the US is seeking, or offering.

It hasn’t helped that the US and the global media consistently agree on calling North Korea and its leadership “crazy” and “irrational” and urging it to “come to its senses”. When you treat your opponent as being beyond reason, it gets hard to comprehend what their strategy is, let alone work out the terms of a viable compromise. More>>

 

Recovery: Economic Impact Of Kaikōura Quake Revealed

The report details the impact on small businesses and tourism caused by disruptions to transport infrastructure and the economic impacts... The impact on New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the first 18 months following the earthquake has been estimated at $450-$500 million. More>>

ALSO:

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Need For Action On Seclusion And Restraint

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford says that while the report makes for sobering reading, the focus should now be on how the recommendations can be used to reduce the occurrence of seclusion and restraint in New Zealand and, in circumstances where it is necessary, to improve practices. More>>

ALSO:

CORRECTIONS (March 2017):

SCHOOL SECLUSION ROOMS (2016):

$11bn Capital Spend, New Debt Target: Steven Joyce On Budget Priorities

First, delivering better public services for a growing country – providing all New Zealanders with the opportunity to lead successful independent lives... And finally, we remain committed to reducing the tax burden and in particular the impact of marginal tax rates on lower and middle income earners, when we have the room to do so. More>>

ALSO:

JustSpeak Report: Bail Changes To Blame For New Billion Dollar Prison

In 2013 criminal justice spending was falling and the Government was mulling over what to spend the money on. 3 years later there are 10,000 people in prison and a new billion dollar prison is announced. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news