Governance for Health Star Ratings

The Health Star Rating system is supported by the Australian and New Zealand governments. Learn about the agencies and committees that guide and review the use of health stars on food labels.

A trans-Tasman system

The Health Star Rating (HSR) system is a joint initiative between the New Zealand and Australian state and territory governments. It was developed along with:

  • food industry
  • public health
  • consumer groups.

Who's responsible for the New Zealand system?

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) administers the HSR system in New Zealand. We:

  • work with New Zealand food manufacturers to help them use HSRs on their products
  • help industry understand the rules around using HSRs
  • monitor implementation of the system in New Zealand.

Consumer awareness campaigns

Consumer education and awareness campaigns have been run by the:

  • Health Promotion Agency
  • Ministry of Health.

The campaigns' goals are for New Zealanders to:

  • be familiar with health stars
  • know how to use them when shopping for food.

The HSR system aligns with the Ministry of Health healthy eating guidelines.

Eating and activity guidelines – Ministry of Health

Health Star Ratings – Health Promotion Agency

Committees implementing the system

A number of committees guide the use of the voluntary HSR system.

Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the forum) is made up of ministers responsible for food from across Australia and New Zealand. The group includes the New Zealand Minister for Food Safety and is chaired by Australia's Assistant Minister for Health.

Food Regulation Standing Committee

The Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) supports the forum by coordinating policy advice. FRSC is made up of senior Australian and New Zealand government officials. The FRSC also makes sure food standards are consistently enforced.

Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC)

Health Star Rating Advisory Committee

The trans-Tasman Health Star Rating Advisory Committee (HSRAC) oversees the HSR system. This includes:

  • implementation
  • evaluation
  • monitoring
  • social marketing.

It provides advice to the Food Regulation Standing Committee on:

  • the review process and implementing review recommendations
  • budget needs and allocation of resources
  • appointments to advisory sub-committees
  • operation and administration of the system.

The committee includes representatives from:

  • industry
  • government
  • consumers
  • public health.

New Zealand holds 1 of the 10 seats.

The advisory committee makes all decisions on a consensus basis. If it can't reach consensus, issues are referred to the forum.

Health Star Rating Advisory Committee – Health Star Rating [PDF, 413 KB]

New Zealand Health Star Rating Advisory Group

The New Zealand Health Star Rating Advisory Group is chaired by MPI. It includes people from:

  • the food industry
  • universities
  • public health
  • consumer groups.

In 2012, a New Zealand advisory group on front-of-pack labelling (FOPL) was appointed by the Minister for Food Safety. It was renamed the New Zealand Health Star Rating Advisory Group.

Background on the New Zealand Front of Pack Labelling Advisory Group [PDF, 273 KB]

In 2014, the group looked at the Australian-developed HSR system. It agreed the system matched their principles. The HSR system was implemented in New Zealand from June 2014.

New Zealand Front of Pack Labelling Advisory Group Final Report to the Minister for Food Safety

Who to contact

If you have questions about Health Star Ratings, email info@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: