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Digest No. 1839

Food Bill 2010 (2010 No 160-2)

Date of Introduction: 26 May 2010
Portfolio: Food Safety
Select Committee: Primary Production
Date report presented: 16 December 2010
Published: 16 December 2010byJohn McSoriley BA LL.B, Barrister,Legislative AnalystP: (04) 817-9626 (Ext. 9626)F: (04) 817-1250Public enquiries:Parliamentary Information Service: (04 817-9647) Caution: This Digest was prepared to assist consideration of the Bill by members of Parliament. It has no official status.Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, it should not be taken as a complete or authoritative guide to the Bill. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Purpose

The aim of the Bill as introduced is to make " ... substantial reforms to the regulatory regime for the safety and suitability of food". It will eventually fully replace the Food Act 1981 and the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 and it amends the Animal Products Act 1999 and the Wine Act 2003 " ... to improve the interface of regulatory processes across food sectors" [1]   .

The Bill as introduced is described in Bills Digest No 1785.

Main changes to the Bill

Relationship between this Bill and the Animal Products Act 1999 and the Wine Act 2003

The Select Committee has recommended that the relationship between this Bill and the Animal Products Act 1999 and the Wine Act 2003 be clarified. Except for particular provision made (for example relating to winemaking operations applied to be included under a registered food control plan or national plan), those Acts prevail where there is any conflict, duplication or inconsistency in the requirement made or the powers given under them (Part 1, Subpart 1, inserting New Clause 5A; Part 2, Subpart 1, inserting New Section 24A; deleting Clauses 42 and 43).

Food control plans

The Select Committee has recommended a more detailed regulation-making power for the Governor-General in Council in respect of food control plans and has also recommended a redrafting of the process for amending food control plans (Part 2, Subpart 1, inserting New Clause 35A (and deleting Part 5, Subpart 4, Clause 347(1)); substituting Clauses 36-40 and inserting New Clause 40A).

“Charitable purpose” or “personal development purpose”

The Bill as introduced provides an exemption from the requirement to operate under a registered food control plan or a national programme for persons not ordinarily in the business of trading in food but who, in general, organise or conduct “a community-based fund raising activity”.

The Select Committee has replaced this description with the expression “trades for a charitable purpose” and has recommended a definition of “charitable purpose” (which is based on the general charitable purpose in the law) as follows: “charitable purpose included every charitable purpose, whether it relates to the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, or any other matter beneficial to the community”. The Select Committee has also recommended the same exemption for trading in food for personal development purposes which is defined as “a purpose that relates to the intellectual, emotional, physical, social, cultural or other personal development of a person or members of a group” (Part 2, Subpart 5, substituting Clause 94 and inserting New Section 24A).

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  1. Food Bill, 2010 No 160-1, Explanatory note, General policy statement, p. 1.   [back]