Support for local government 

Food is an essential part of our daily lives and is an integral part of our society. Having reliable access to nutritious, affordable and safe food is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Councils have a role in managing food security for their communities and are ideally placed to facilitate a coordinated response in creating supportive environments for community health and wellbeing.

Seizing the opportunities and meeting the challenges to improve our food supply can create significant social, environmental and economic benefits.

Read on for information and tools to support policy development, policy advocacy, strategies and plans which influence food security.

Food security toolkit

A toolkit has been developed to guide local government through options for improving access to healthy food in their communities. The toolkit is not an exhaustive list of all opportunities, but it does identify a range of initiatives and policies that will have an impact on food security.

Local government involvement with efforts to improve food security will be essential. Community groups and other organisations will also find the toolkit useful, particularly as an advocacy tool. 

Read the Growing Healthy Communities: Food Security Toolkit for Local Government

Sample policies and charters

For your convenience, sample policies within the Food Security Toolkit are available as word documents below:


Food policy councils / Local food networks

Toi Te Ora Public Health is currently working in partnership with Rotorua Lakes Council and Healthy Families NZ - Rotorua in the Kai Rotorua (formally Rotorua Local Food Network) which was established in 2016. The network now has multiple members and sets out to achieve a healthy and ecologically sustainable local food system.

Toi Te Ora Public Health would like to partner with other Councils in our region and local community groups to support the development of additional local food policy councils.

Find out more

Other resources

Position statement

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Position statements - Toi Te Ora Public Health position statements on food security and sugar sweetened beverages

Local research

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Data Summary

This data summary provides an overview of available related statistics and research. Both national data and local data for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards districts have been included.


Toi Te Ora Public Health research

Foodback Project

Toi Te Ora Public Health is supporting Auckland University research, the Foodback project. Foodback involves the development of a smartphone app for crowdsourcing data on the healthiness of foods advertised and sold in local community settings (i.e., schools, hospitals, supermarkets, takeaways, sport clubs) and outdoors (i.e., around schools).


Population Health Survey 2020

The Issues of Health and Wellbeing 2020 Population Survey aims to increase our understanding of local people's knowledge, attitudes and practices related to a number of public health issues. Key results relating to are found in the full report available following the link.


Food Cost Surveys - preliminary results received

The annual University of Otago Food Cost Survey has been monitoring the cost and affordability of food across New Zealand since the 1970’s. the 2016 report is available here.

In 2015, for the first time, data was collected across the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Board areas, as part of Toi Te Ora's commitment to improving access to healthy food.

Monitoring the cost of food is important as cost is a significant factor influencing food choice and purchasing.

Preliminary results are now available here. A full report unpacking these research findings will be available soon.

Food Security Literature Review 2013

In 2010 Toi Te Ora completed a literature review of published papers related to food security. This led to the identification of key themes and the development of a plan for Toi Te Ora to lead, advocate and support improvements to food security. The literature review was updated in 2013.


Food Outlet Mapping 2004

As part of a broader study, Alcohol, Gambling and Fast Food Outlets in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes Region, unhealthy food outlet locations were analysed.

Food Sensitive Planning and Urban Design

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Food Sensitive Planning and Urban Design - A report which provides a conceptual framework for achieving a sustainable and healthy food system, commissioned by the National Heart Foundation of Australia.

Community groups working to improve food security

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Right across New Zealand (and across the globe) people are collaborating to promote healthy food access, create sustainable and fair food systems, supporting local food economies.

For your interest, a few examples are provided below, including links for more information and useful documents.

Restoring New Zealand’s Food System

  • Restoring New Zealand's Food System is a Sustainable Business Network project
  • The Sustainable Business Network is trying to help find solutions to the challenges in the food system, from production, manufacturing, distribution, access and eating through to waste. 

Kai Rotorua

Kai Auckland

Edible Canterbury

Edible Wellington

Dunedin's Food Network

Our Food Network is based in Dunedin, and it's aim is to stimulate the production, distribution and consumption of local food and in that way contribute to the building of a resilient and prosperous community.

Contact us for support

Toi Te Ora employs a team of people who encourage and support local government across the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts to develop healthy public policy.

If you would like support in relation to food security contact us.