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.

Kai Western Bay is in the early stages of development and Toi Te Ora is a founding member driving this local food  group. This group is underpinned by a large local food network, a network of many interested people and organisations. If you are interested in being a part of the network or the membership of Kai Western Bay contact Hayley Adamson.  

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

Local research - See what local food security research is available.

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.

Agencies for Nutrition Action - An online hub to support others who also have an interest or work focus in promoting food security.

What are other councils doing? - See what is happening around New Zealand and the important role local government can play.


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.