Council, 13 December 2018.


Healthy eating is essential for good health and wellbeing, and supports a healthy, productive community. Providing a healthy eating environment is one of the key ways to promote wellbeing.

A healthy food environment is associated with positive health outcomes, meaning it is important that local authorities help lead the way in their communities by providing healthy eating settings. Under this Policy the Council aims to make healthy food choices the easy ones.

The Policy supports the Council to:

  • demonstrate its commitment to the health and wellbeing of people at its facilities and events by providing healthy food and drink options that support a balanced diet.
  • provide and promote environments that support healthy food and drink choices.
  • reduce association with products and brands that are inconsistent with a healthy food and drink environment.


The Policy applies to all Council facilities and Council events and includes:

  • all food and drink provided by or able to be purchased from any retailer, caterer, vending machine on Council premises, facilities and events, except food offerings at cultural events
  • any gifts, rewards and incentives offered to guest speakers and/or formal visitors on behalf of the Council
  • any external party that provides food or catering, recognising current lease agreements and event obligations until such time as they are renegotiated, renewed or reviewed:
    • on site at any of the Council’s facilities and events
    • off site where the Council arranges and/or hosts a function.

While the provision and consumption of healthy food and drink options is strongly encouraged, the Policy does not apply to:

  • food offerings at cultural events (beverage offerings still fall within the Policy)
  • food and drink brought by elected members or staff for their own consumption
  • gifts to elected members or staff
  • self-catered staff-shared meals, both on and off site (e.g. food brought for special occasions, morning teas, off-site self-funded Christmas parties or similar celebrations)
  • gifts, rewards and incentives that are self-funded
  • alcohol consumption where licensed
  • non-Council run events or activities at Council facilities or on its land (e.g. early learning centres, sports clubs and community groups).

Healthy food and drink policy guidelines

Healthy food and drink environments

This Policy supports the Council’s efforts to provide an environment that consistently offers and promotes healthy food and drink options via the following guidelines:

  • Offer a variety of healthy foods from the four main food groups.
  • Food should be mostly prepared with or contain minimal saturated fat, salt (sodium) and added sugar, and should be mostly whole or less processed.
  • Water and unflavoured milk are the predominant cold drink options.
  • Dietary needs are taken into account.

Policy implementation

The Policy promotes and encourages the provision of healthy food and drink options with visitors, vendors, lessees, and sponsors through consistent, evidence-based nutrition messages.

Leases, sponsorships, agreements, partnerships, fundraisers, associations and promotions relating to Council facilities and events involving products and brands that are consistent with a healthy food and drink environment are preferred.

Implementation of the Healthy Food Policy will be informed by standards such as the health sector developed Healthy Food and Drink Guidelines (see Schedule One).

This will be done through a staged approach to move food provision to a greater proportion of ‘green’ offerings by reducing ‘amber’ ones and where possible eliminating ‘red’ offerings.

Guidance for promoting and implementing healthy food and drink options, through a baseline audit, developing and implementing healthy food milestones, monitoring and review, is provided in Schedule Two.

This means that the relevant areas of Council will develop their own plans and approaches as resources allow, taking into account factors such as how to influence consumer demand and expectations, and assessing revenue impacts and opportunities.

Schedule one – Healthy food and drink benchmarking guidelines

(Summarised and adapted from criteria developed by the National District Health Board Food and Drink Environment Network, to be used as a benchmarking tool for Council.)

Food and drink categories

The purpose of the food and drink categories is to provide a practical way for food service providers and caterers to categorise foods for benchmarking purposes. Foods should not, however, be labelled with the colours or promoted using a traffic light labelling system.

Foods and drinks are placed into three categories according to their nutrient content.


These foods and drinks are part of a healthy diet. Green category products must consist only of green category foods, drinks, and ingredients. They are consistent with the Healthy Food and Drink Policy Principles reflecting a variety of foods from the four food groups including: 

  • plenty of vegetables and fruit
  • grain foods, mostly whole grain and those naturally high in fibre
  • some milk and milk products, mostly low and reduced fat
  • some legumes, nuts, seeds, fish and other seafood, eggs, poultry (e.g. chicken) and/or red meat with the fat removed;
  • are low in saturated fats, added sugar and added salt, and mostly whole and less processed.


These foods and drinks are not considered part of an everyday diet, but may have some nutritive value. Foods and drinks in this category can contribute to consuming excess energy, and are often more processed.
The amber category contains a wide variety of foods and drinks, some healthier than others. Amber category products can contain a mixture of green and / or amber foods, drinks, and ingredients.
Where possible provide the healthier options within this category e.g. a potato top pie instead of a standard pie. 


These foods and drinks are of poor nutritional value and high in saturated fat, added sugar, and / or added salt and energy. They can easily contribute to consuming excess energy. These are often highly processed foods and drinks.

Food and drink availability

Healthy food and drinks should be the easy choice. Within a food service (e.g. cafeteria, catered event, shop, or vending machine), green category foods and drinks should predominate. This means that they should make up most of food and drinks available for consumption. Over time, organisations should aim to increase the proportion of green healthy foods and drinks.

Green category items:

  • dominate the food and drinks available (most of the choices available)

  • are displayed prominently on shelves, benches, cabinets and vending machines

  • are always available in sufficient quantities to be the predominant option.

Amber category items:

  •  make up less than half of choices available 
  • should be small portion sizes 
  • are not prominently displayed at the expense of green category items.

Red category items:

  • are to be reduced and where possible phased out over time.