Skip to main content

Table 2 Description of government entities with a role in food policy

From: Implementing healthy food environment policies in New Zealand: nine years of inaction

Government departments Descriptions
Ministry of Health Main policy-making department on diet-related health, nutrition-related health inequalities, planning and funding public health and monitoring the performance of district health boards
Ministry for Primary Industries Main policy-making department for New Zealand's primary industries, including food. Functions include providing national direction on ensuring the food produced is safe, enabling international market access for New Zealand’s primary products, and representing the interests of the New Zealand primary sector in international trade policy and standard-setting forums
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Main policy-making department on international food trade, overseas aid (including food aid), overseas agriculture, and the Sustainable Development Goals
Health Promotion Agency Main communications agency to promote health, including healthy diets
Ministry for the Environment Main policy-making department on environmental policy and provides national direction on urban (e.g. food density zoning laws) and rural planning (e.g. land use consents) through national policy statements and national environmental standards. Also focuses on climate change, fresh water, marine, land, waste, soil, air, water, sea quality
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Main policy-making department managing food and beverage industry investment, consumer protection, immigration (including migrant workers for food supply chain), business, industrial strategy, employment, energy, science, research and innovation (all with food relevance)
Food Standards Australia New Zealand Develops and administers joint Australia and New Zealand food standards; explains food issues e.g. labelling, additives, chemicals; consults with the community about food safety issues; helps food businesses understand the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
Ministry of Education Main policy-making department on education, skills and curriculum, with role as food educator and food provider
Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Provides strategic advice across sectors and serves as an accessible conduit between the science community and government
Local government Ensures public services are responsive to the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being needs of their communities, with a particular role in zoning law, district or regional planning, and community food supply initiatives for example
District health boards A role to improve, promote and protect the health of people and communities, including planning and delivering services in their area
The Treasury Overall control of government spending
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Overall policy oversight and coordination. Contains the Child Wellbeing and Poverty Reduction Group
Te Puni Kōkiri—Ministry of Māori Development Input into major food policies as they relate to Māori
Ministry for Pacific Peoples Input into major food policies as they relate to Pacific Peoples
Ministry of Social Development Main policy-making department on welfare and pensions, supporting people and whānau in food poverty
Supporting government entities
 Health Research Council of New Zealand Sets priorities for research and funds research including on food and nutrition
 Broadcasting Standards Authority Decides complaints about broadcasters; publishing and research broadcasting standards
 Sport New Zealand Oversees sports sponsorship
 Commerce Commission Enforces laws that promote competition and protect consumers in New Zealand
 National Ethics Advisory Committee Provides ethical advice on issues of national significance in respect of health and disability, including characteristics of a fair food system delivering nutritional outcomes
 Crown Research Institutes AgResearch: pastoral, agri-food and agri-technology sector
Plant and Food Research: horticultural, arable, seafood, and food and beverage industries
Institute of Environmental Science Research: safeguards people's health, protects the food-based economy, improves the safety of water resources
 Health and Disability Commissioner Works with clinicians, providers and consumers to improve health services including dietary advice and interventions
 Office of the Children’s Commissioner Advocates for the interests of young people, ensuring the voices of children are heard in policy-making
 Ministry for Culture and Heritage Funds Broadcasting Standards Authority, NZ On Air and Sport New Zealand
 Ministry of Transport Main policy-making department on transport, with role in supporting infrastructure for food distribution and public transport (including for food workers and customers)
 Department of Corrections Main department with role as food provider to prisons
 Department of Internal Affairs Conduit for local and central government
 State Services Commission Sets standards for public servants and policy-making, including the management of conflicts of interest for food policies
 New Zealand Customs Service Provides border control and protects the community from potential risks related to food arising from international trade and travel, as well as collecting duties and taxes on imports to the country
 Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Main policy-making department on housing, built environment and urban development