Food & Drink Stalls

Food and Drink Stall Requirements:

The Wellington City Council Environmental Health Team requires detailed confirmation of how your stall will meet the safe food and beverage handling requirements outlined below – this includes stalls selling sweets, cakes, jams, or chutneys, and stalls selling only drinks. There is a section in the stall application form asking for information about this.

Your online form is processed by the Council’s Environmental Health Team and Newtown Festival well in advance of the Festival, someone will be in touch if there any perceived problems with it.

Once submitted the application form emails you back a live copy that you can adjust and add information to if things change later, so please keep this email.

Officers from the WCC Environmental Health Team inspect all the Food and Drink Stalls at the Festival.  Please note that on the day of the Festival stallholders can be asked to CLOSE DOWN if they are unable to meet the safe food handling, public safety or zero waste requirements.

All stalls selling food or drink at the Festival pay an additional $90, discounted to $20 if the food isn’t for consumption at the Festival. This contributes to the WCC inspection charges and helps pay for the composting, recycling and waste management generated by food and drink stalls.

Wellington City Council Guidelines to Meet Safe Food and Beverage Handling Requirements:

Guidelines for Pre-event Preparation & Set Up:

  1. It is preferable that all food is to be prepared at registered food premises, such as restaurants and other food shops etc. Preparation of food in a domestic kitchen (such as your own home) is not recommended. [ But it is not totally  forbidden, contact the Newtown Festival office if you think you might need to use a domestic kitchen. ]
  2. Food must be purchased and prepared as close as possible to the time of the event. If prepared the night before, all readily perishable food must be refrigerated at a temperature of 4°C or below.
  3. Food must be transported and stored on site in covered containers and cold-stored in a refrigerator or chilly bin at 4°C or below, or hot-stored at 60°C or above. It is recommended that you use a thermometer to check the temperature of the food to ensure all food is within the recommended temperature.
  4. Food must be stored at least 450mm above ground. You may need to bring with you a separate table for storage of boxes with food in them, etc.
  5. For public safety, any cooking unit must not be facing the public unprotected or be accessible to the public. Food stallholders cooking with heat (from gas or electricity) need to have a dry powder fire extinguisher as part of their stall. A fire blanket is also recommended.
  6. Before the Festival you must confirm your food serving packaging (containers, cutlery, cups, napkins, etc) is locally compostable, reusable or recyclable. [ Contact the Newtown Festival office if you need advice about this. ]

Guidelines for During the Festival:

  1. Should you arrive at the Festival with non-compliant packaging then on the day you will be required to purchase and use locally compostable, reusable, or recyclable packaging.
  2. Preparation of food at the event, as distinct from cooking of food, must be kept to a minimum.
  3. People handling food must wear appropriate protective clothing to protect the food from contamination by their clothes and / or hair.
  4. People handling food must take care to regularly wash their hands. The stall set up must provide handwashing. Keep a good supply of protective gloves available.
  5. People preparing and cooking food should not handle money.
  6. Containers of food must be covered to prevent any contamination from dust, flies, birds, animals, etc and uncovered only for the minimum amount of time needed for cooking and sale.
  7. Cooked food, or vegetables eaten raw (lettuce, grated carrot, etc) must not come into contact with raw meats or any surfaces or utensils used to prepare raw meats.
  8. Ensure you have enough cooking utensils (tongs, spoons, knives, etc). It is advisable to bring more than you think you may need so that you have spares when some get contaminated, dropped on the ground, etc.
  9. Ensure all hot food is placed in a food warmer after cooking, or served immediately. Keep readily perishable food hot (at or above 60°C) or cold (at or below 4°C). it is recommended you use a thermometer to ensure this is the case.
  10. Ensure you have enough ice to keep food cold in chilly bins, etc. It is advisable to have someone who is able to obtain more ice as and when required to keep the food cold.
  11. Stallholders are required to have facilities for hand washing – scroll down for details. Please see your stall site info pack and the site marshal in the morning for the toilet location and waste water drainage point close to your stall.
  12. Please separate compostables and recycling for the crew at your nearest Zero Waste Station to process for you. All other rubbish generated at your food stall must be kept tidily in bins during the event and removed from the site at the end of the day.

If you have any questions, please contact us

Packaging must be Zero Waste compliant:

Aiming to make Newtown Festival a Zero Waste event is a longstanding tradition. It’s a core Festival Policy



Newtown Festival’s zero waste target needs stallholders to use locally compostable containers, plates, cups, cutlery, and napkins for their food and beverages as much as possible. Locally compostable means the packaging is accepted by Wellington City Council’s Capital Compost facility, sourced from one of Wellington City Council’s approved list of suppliers (see below).Where there are no suitable compostable packaging options, recyclable is the next best option. Recyclable packaging may not always be recycled if it is dirty, but dirty compostable packaging is easily composted.Polystyrene is not recyclable, do not use it to serve your food or drink at Newtown Festival.

Before the Festival you must confirm your packaging is acceptable for our goal of Zero Waste. Should you arrive at the Festival with non compliant packaging, on the day you will be required to purchase and use locally compostable, reusable, or recyclable packaging.

Compostable Packaging

The team leaders of our long running award winning ZeroWaste Programme at Newtown Festival went on to establish Wellington Waste Managers and they have now rebranded as Nonstop Solution. They now work assisting other festivals and events to reduce their waste.

Biochoice, Biopak, Bioware, Ecoware, Eco Soulife, Friendlypak/Vegware, Green Bean eco-tableware and Innocent Packaging are approved suppliers who sell compostable products.

BUT, not all the products sold by these companies are acceptable at Capital Compost – the Wellington composting facility.  There is a new guide to the sort of products they will accept, and these are the ones that need to be used to use at Newtown Festival and other events.

See here for the WCC Event Packaging Guidelines

If you have any packaging questions, please contact us

Thank you:

At the Festival please remember to also encourage your customers to use the Festival’s award winning recycling and compost stations.  It sounds simple, but your encouragement as you serve your delicious food really makes a difference!

Handwashing Needed At Your Stall:

Wellington City Council Environmental Health Team requires that all Food Stalls at the Newtown Festival provide handwashing as part of the stall set up.

Local business who have a food stall outside can use the handwashing facilities in their premises behind their stall and stalls selling drinks or sealed precooked cakes, jams, or chutneys will not require a hand-washing station.

Food Stall instructions

Additional to handwashing at your stall, food stalls are clustered in precincts near where there is also hot water available for hand and utensil washing. Nearby there will also be toilets stallholders can use. Your stall site information packs will show you where the nearest backup hot water washing facilities and toilets are located. In the morning, when you set up, ask your  Festival Marshal to point these out to you, and ask them to show you where you can empty a water bucket.

DO NOT empty your water buckets into the gutter – other stall holders have goods and equipment in the gutter !

If you have any questions, please contact us