Health Star Ratings in food labelling: governance
The Health Star Rating system is supported by the Australian and New Zealand governments. Learn how they developed the system, the agencies involved, and about the committees guiding its implementation.
A joint initiative
The Health Star Rating system is a joint initiative between Australian state and territory governments and the New Zealand Government. It was developed in collaboration with food industry, public health and consumer groups.
Who's responsible for the NZ system?
MPI administers the Health Star Rating system in New Zealand. We:
- work with New Zealand industry to implement Health Star Ratings on their products
- help industry understand the rules around using Health Star Ratings
- monitor implementation of the system in New Zealand
Consumer awareness campaign
The Health Promotion Agency and the Ministry of Health are responsible for the consumer education and awareness campaign. They make sure New Zealanders are familiar with Health Star Ratings and know how to use them when shopping for food. The Health Star Rating system complements and is consistent with the Ministry of Health healthy eating guidelines.
Committees implementing the system
A number of committees are guiding implementation of the voluntary Health Star Rating system.
Australia and NZ 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, including the New Zealand Minister for Food Safety. The forum is chaired by Australia's Assistant Minister for Health.
Front-of-Pack Labelling Steering Committee
The steering committee led the process for developing the Health Star Rating system with industry, public health and consumer groups, and reported to the Forum. It included senior representatives from Australian state and territory governments, the New Zealand government and a representative from the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council.
The Front-of-Pack Labelling Steering Committee became part of the Food Regulation Standing Committee in November 2015.
Trans-Tasman Health Star Rating Advisory Committee
The advisory committee oversees implementation and evaluation of the Health Star Rating system, including social marketing, monitoring and evaluation of the system.
It provides advice to the steering committee on:
- timing, scope and processes for external reviews
- implementation of review recommendations
- budget needs and allocation of resources
- appointments to advisory committee sub-committees
- operation and administration of the system.
The advisory committee makes all decisions on a consensus basis. If it can't reach consensus, issues are referred to the forum.
The committee includes industry, government, consumer and public health representatives, with New Zealand holding one of the 10 seats.
New Zealand Health Star Rating Advisory Group
In 2012, a New Zealand advisory group on front-of-pack labelling (FOPL) was appointed by then Minister for Food Safety, Hon Kate Wilkinson.
- Background on the NZ FOPL Advisory Group [PDF, 273 KB]
The FOPL Advisory Group was asked to:
- consider the latest evidence on FOPL
- consider global developments in FOPL, particularly in Australia and New Zealand
- identify common ground of stakeholders
- provide advice on evaluation strategies for FOPL
- identify, if possible, a reasonable approach to FOPL for voluntary use in New Zealand.
Principles align with Health Star Rating system
In 2012, the FOPL Advisory Group produced a report with:
- principles for development of a voluntary interpretive FOPL system in New Zealand
- steps to implement and evaluate a FOPL system.
Download the advisory group report [PDF, 413 KB]
In 2014, the group analysed the Australian-developed Health Star Rating system and agreed that it aligned with their principles. The Health Star Rating system was implemented in New Zealand from June 2014.
The FOPL Advisory Group, now renamed the New Zealand Health Star Rating Advisory Group, continues to play an important role in implementing the Health Star Rating system.
Members of the New Zealand Health Star Rating Advisory Group
The New Zealand Health Star Rating Advisory Group is chaired by MPI and includes people from the food industry, academia, public health and consumer groups. Members were chosen for their expertise, networks, and ability to bring a wide range of perspectives to the process.
- Jenny Reid (Chair)
Ministry for Primary Industries
- Pierre van Heerden
Sanitarium New Zealand
- Dave Monro
National Heart Foundation
- Katherine Rich
New Zealand Food and Grocery Council
- Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu
National Institute for Health Innovation, University of Auckland
- Associate Professor Winsome Parnell
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago
- Julie North
- Dr Fran McGrath
New Zealand Ministry of Health
- Belinda Castles
Consumer New Zealand
- Jenny Yee-Collinson
Frucor Beverages Ltd
- Greg Gambrill
- Phillippa Hawthorne
MPI Food Science
- Michelle Gibbs
MPI Food Science
- Rebecca Doonan
MPI Food Science
Who to contact
If you have questions about governance of the health star rating system, email email@example.com
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