Marae food safety
Find out about food safety on the marae, food safety when hunting, fishing, and gathering shellfish, and how to safely prepare a hāngi. Find out about whether or not you need to register under the Food Act 2014.
E ngā iwi, e ngā reo, e ngā mātā waka, e ngā mana, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa.
(Greetings to all people of Aotearoa New Zealand).
Preparing and cooking food on the marae
The cultural value of kai (food) has its roots embedded in the act of manaaki tangata – the giving and receiving of hospitality. Our guide to food safety on the marae (Te kai manawa ora) provides marae ngā ringawera (cooks and their helpers) with:
- tips for keeping food safe
- information on safely buying, storing, cooking, and serving food
- food safety advice for traditional Māori food practices (like gathering puha, watercress, kaimoana, and kai from the bush).
Te kai manawa ora – Marae food safety guide [PDF, 13 MB]
Marae food safety posters to download
Find more food safety tips
It's important to safely prepare, cook, and store food to help avoid getting sick.
Preparing and cooking hāngi
Safe food handling and food hygiene practices are important with all food, including hāngi – the traditional Māori way to cook food.
Our guide to preparing a hāngi has information on how to keep food safe from bugs that make us sick. It covers preparing a hāngi from start to finish, and how to ensure food is safe at each step.
Food from the sea (kaimoana)
Kaimoana like shellfish need to be safely gathered, stored, and cooked to help you lower the risk of getting sick from it. They should not be gathered from areas containing contaminants (like sewage, toxic algae, and other pollution). These can make us sick when we eat them. They can also contain bacteria and viruses.
Sometimes shellfish in an area can contain toxic algae. These make them unsafe to eat. We issue public health warnings when our test results show this, and update the warnings when the areas become safe again.
Find out more
Food safety for seafood gatherers guide [PDF, 681 KB]
Recreational hunting and wild food
Animals, like pigs, deer, goats, and ducks could be unsafe to eat, if:
- they're sick
- have wounds
- have been poisoned
- haven't been handled properly by the hunters after being killed.
Always hunt in safe areas, take only healthy animals, and store and transport the meat safely. Remember, homekill and hunted meat is eaten at your own risk. Meat that's sold commercially (like in supermarkets) follows strict requirements to ensure it's safe to eat. Homekill is not regulated in the same way.
Find out more
Food safety for hunters guide [PDF, 1.2 MB]
Food safety requirements on the marae
Most food that's prepared and served on the marae is not sold or traded. So it doesn't need to follow legal requirements around food safety. This includes customary activities like preparing and serving food for tangi. But the food must be safe and suitable, which means that nobody gets sick from eating it.
You can fundraise up to 20 times per calendar year without needing to follow Food Act 2014 requirements.
When you'll need to register under the Food Act 2014
You will need to register under the Food Act 2014 if you're:
- fundraising more than 20 times per calendar year
- selling food or running a food business on the marae.
Who to contact
If you have questions about marae food safety, email email@example.com