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 Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. This time around, a couple of parliamentary Undersecretary posts in education and regulatory reform have been thrown in, plus an annual salary of $175,000 while he learns the ropes. Shouldn’t Seymour at least be put on a 90 day trial before he gets his hands on that sort of serious moolah?

It would be for his own good, really. At this rate, Act is never going to learn how to make its own way in the world More>>

 

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Images & Report: Mihi To Welcome Newly-Elected MPs To Parliament

The 29 newly elected MPs were welcomed into Parliament with a Mihi. Parliament’s current Speaker David Carter offered advice from his experience working in Parliament advising the MPs to work collaboratively. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news