Food trucks

Food trucks need a food registration certificate to be able to sell food. There are also special safety requirements and rules about where you can park.

How it works

Food trucks – also known as mobile food premises – are licensed, motorised vehicles used to sell food. They often contain all the facilities required to prepare and cook food safely on-board.

Food trucks are like any other food business, and need to be registered and verified to ensure they're preparing and selling safe food.

Setting up a safe food truck

Your mobile food truck must be suitably constructed for food preparation and handling and sale activities.

You must:

  • make sure all surfaces (floors, walls, ceiling, shelving and benches) are smooth, waterproof and easy to clean
  • provide ventilation to maintain comfortable conditions for people working in the truck, prevent condensation and remove bad odours
  • have enough space for everyone who'll be working in the truck, and to be able to clean effectively
  • provide sinks and hand wash basins, with enough hot water to allow effective cleaning and hand washing
  • drain wastewater to a big enough holding tank, and dispose of it into the sewerage system or through a sink attached to a grease trap
  • comply with the following electrical/fire safety requirements:
    • all food trucks connecting to power must have an up-to-date electrical Warrant of Fitness
    • all electrical equipment /appliances brought on site must have a current electrical safety test tag
    • all food trucks that have cooking or reheating appliances must have a fire extinguisher and/or fire blanket, and a first aid kit as part of their equipment.

If there is not enough space to prepare food, you can use an alternative preparation kitchen. You'll need to make sure this preparation kitchen is covered by your registration.

Applying for a food registration certificate

Before you can sell food from a food truck, you need to apply for a food registration certificate from the council closest to where your business is registered. If your business is not yet registered, check with one of our Environmental Health Officers which council to register with. 

You'll need to provide:

  • a drawing or photographs of your proposed food truck setup
  • details of the types of food you're planning to sell
  • information about your preparation kitchen, if you're planning to use one.

Applying for a food registration certificate

Once you have your food registration certificate and have started selling food, you need to have your business verified.

Verification of your food business

Where you can sell food

Once your mobile operation is registered you can operate anywhere in New Zealand, as long as you have permission from landowners, and trading from that land fits with permitted activities in the District Plan.

If you want to trade in a public space (for example, on road reserve, or in a park or sportsfield), you'll need to apply to the Council for a trading licence.

Trading in public spaces

If you want to trade as part of a market or event, contact the organiser – they will deal with us on your behalf.

Organising an event

Need help?

The Public Health team is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Public Health
Phone: 04 499 4444