My Long Term Plan includes food

By Dr Amber Hammill

Local councils might not seem like the most obvious actors in the food system, but both city and district councils can have substantial impacts on local food environments. Councils, after all, have influence over where food is grown and produced, how and where it can be prepared and sold, what happens to food waste, as well as the food councils are responsible for buying and selling themselves.
Right now, councils around the region are consulting on their long term plans.

According to Local Government NZ, "The Long-term Plan is by far the most significant planning and decision-making process for elected members. It sets the council’s work programme and how it will be funded, for at least the next 10 years."

Surprisingly, food is absent from the majority of these long term plan documents. When food systems are functioning well, it's easy for many of us not to think about them. When we are food secure, that is, when we have ready, timely access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food that we enjoy and which is good for us, it's easy to take for granted. But food security doesn't happen by accident, it happens by design. For councils to fulfill their responsibilities and potential in creating the conditions for food security they need to plan to do so. 

To encourage councils to be explicit about their work in this area, we have submitted to the Hamilton City Council long term plan and are making sure food is included in our joint community submissions to district long term plans around the region. If you are working on a long term plan submission, I encourage you to include food in your submission. The more of us asking councils to approach food strategically the better chance we have of long term food security. 

Read our Submission to HCC below: