Environmental Health

On this page

  • What is environmental health?
  • Contact us
  • Bylaws
  • What does the 
  • Registering your business
  • Inspections
  • Food safety
  • Hairdressers
  • Camping grounds
  • Offensive trades
  • Funeral directors
  • Tattooing, skin piercing and beauty shop
  • Mobile traders
  • Buskers
  • Complaints
  • Asbestos contamination
  • Methamphetamine contamination
  • Recreational water
  • Fees and charges
  • Help


What is environmental health?

The environment can directly and indirectly impact on our health and wellbeing. Environmental health examines the interaction between the environment and our health. To find out more, see ehinz.ac.nz.

Our Environmental Health team is dedicated in ensuring that Invercargill residents and visitors stay safe and healthy.  We promote, protect and improve the health of the community by monitoring and inspecting a variety of activities and premises to make sure that the relevant legislative requirements are met.

Our Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) are responsible for monitoring, inspection, compliance and enforcement while our Environmental Support Officer deals with the admin and registration.

The team can also provide information and advice on:

  • Asbestos contamination
  • Buskers
  • Methamphetamine contamination
  • Recreational water



Contact us

Contact the Environmental Health team on:



The main bylaws that we operate under are:

  • The Health and Hygiene Bylaw (refer to the Bylaws page), which sets out the standards for acupuncture, body piercing, electrolysis, and tattooing (including traditional and semi-permanent colouring).
  • The Environmental Health Bylaw (refer to the Bylaws page) which includes mobile trading, the Central City alcohol ban, solvent abuse, untidy sections and abandoned vehicles.


Do I need a licence or permit?

When running a business or an event in Invercargill boundary, it is always good practice to research and check with the local council to ensure you are complying with any legislative requirements. 

Under environmental health, if you’re running a food business, hairdresser shop, mobile trading, camping grounds, funeral homes (with mortuary), offensive trades and beauty, tattoo & piercing shop, then you might need a licence. If you are also busking in the street, then you must let us know.

Businesses might need to meet different type of requirements which could depend on the type of business or event, location, condition of the building and so on. So we do recommend you check with the other departments:


  • Do I need a resource consent?   Your proposed business must comply with District Plan rules – we recommend you get in touch with a duty planner to discuss any requirements.

Planning team

  • Do I need a building consent?    Your proposed business must comply with the Building Act 2004.   We recommend getting in touch with our building services team to discuss your project and clarify requirements and what plans and paperwork should be included in your application. 

Building team

  • Do I need an alcohol licence?  If you intend to sell and supply alcohol, you need the appropriate licence.  You must contact the District Licensing Committee.

District Licensing Committee

  • What trade waste requirements need considered?  We recommend you get in touch with our Trade Waste Officer to discuss any requirements under Trade Waste Bylaw 2017 (refer to the Bylaws page).
  • You can also contact any department via Post:

Name of team
Invercargill City Council
Te Hīnaki – Civic Building
101 Esk Street
Private Bag 90104


Registering your business

If you want to open or take over an existing business or premises, you should contact us for the business to be re-registered and inspected. To learn more, visit Registering and changes to your business.


Changes to your business

You must notify the Environmental Health team about any changes in your business to ensure compliance with the legislations. This includes change of ownership, change of address, change of contact details, and change to the nature of the business or to processes in the Scope of Operations.


My licence is about to expire, what do I do?

When your registration certificate (licence) is about to expire (around the end of August each year), a reminder will be send to you to renew your licence. It is your responsibility to have a current registration licence at all times, failure to do so may result in late fees or the cancellation of your licence.



An Environmental Health Officer will inspect any premises with health licences or sites that cause a nuisance. Officers will also verify food businesses and alcohol inspectors to ensure compliance with any relevant Acts, Regulations, Standards or/and Bylaws.

Additional inspections may be undertaken, if we receive a complaint or if the premises and procedures are in unacceptable condition which may be charged.


Food safety

Under the Food Act 2014 [legislation.govt.nz], businesses that handles, process, extract, grows, pack, manufacture, make, reheat, transport or store food to be sold must be registered (licensed) and verified (inspected) to ensure safe and suitable food is being sold and consumed by the public. Before starting or taking-over a food business, you must first check with the Environmental Health team to make sure you understand the rules. Visit the Food page to learn more.


Camping Grounds

Camping grounds must be registered and inspected on an annual basis. All camping grounds must comply with the Camping-Grounds Regulations 1985 [legislation.govt.nz] and the Health Act 1956 [legislation.govt.nz]. EHOs ensure that the activities of the camping ground do not pose any public health risks before registration is approved. Operators must have appropriate spaces and equipment with good operating standards and practices when they run their camping grounds.


Funeral Directors

Any funeral director premises must be registered and inspected on an annual basis. These premises must comply with the Health (Burial) Regulations 1946 [legislation.govt.nz] and the Health Act 1956 [legislation.govt.nz]. EHOs ensure that funeral homes or mortuaries do not pose any public health risks before registration is approved. Funeral directors must have appropriate spaces and equipment with high operating standards and practices.



Any Hairdresser and/or Barber must be registered and inspected on an annual basis. Our Environmental Health Officers inspect these, including mobile and home based businesses, to make sure that they comply with the Health (Hairdressers) Regulations 1980 [legislation.govt.nz]. The Health and Hygiene Bylaw (refer to the Bylaws page) can also be a guide on issues such as infection risks, decontaminating equipment, and hygiene and cleanliness.


Offensive trades

All businesses that operate, trade, manufacture or undertake the following activities are regarded as operating an offensive trade:-

  • Blood or offal treating
  • Bone boiling or crushing
  • Collection and storage of used bottles for sale
  • Dag crushing
  • Fellmongering
  • Fish cleaning
  • Fish curing
  • Flax pulping
  • Flock manufacturing, or teasing of textile material for any purpose
  • Gut scraping and treating
  • Nightsoil collection and disposal
  • Refuse collection and disposal
  • Septic tank desludging and disposal of sludge
  • Slaughtering of animals for any purpose other than human consumption
  • Storage, drying or preserving of bones, hides, hooves or skins
  • Tallow melting
  • Tanning
  • Wood pulping
  • Wool scouring

These premises must be registered and inspected on an annual basis. Our EHOs base the inspection under the Health Act 1956 by ensuring that these activities and premises does not create nuisance and waste are disposed properly.


Tattooing, Skin Piercing and Beauty Shop

Tattooing, skin piercing (including acupuncture) and some beauty shop (including premises who do electrolysis and semi-permanent skin colouring) businesses must be registered and inspected annually by an Environmental Health Officers under the Health and Hygiene Bylaw (refer to the Bylaws page) to check for compliance.

Tattooist and skin piercers must register individually which they can move in different premises with the existing licence, while beauty shops and low risk skin piercers (e.g. for ears only) must register their premises.


Mobile Traders

All businesses that operate in mobile trading which includes hawking or peddling and trading from a mobile or travelling shop must first obtain a mobile trading licence under the Environmental Health Bylaw (refer to the Bylaws page).



If you intend to busk or solicit for street entertainment in public places in the Invercargill City area, here are a few simple rules for you to follow.

  1. Obtain permission from Invercargill City Council.

You will be asked to provide details of your proposed sites and activity; also your name, contact details and a copy of identification e.g. drivers licence, passport. No licence fee is charged.

  1. Seek the permission of the shops and businesses where you intend to entertain.

This is a matter of both courtesy and common sense – most complaints about buskers are from businesses that feel they are adversely affected by noise, blocking window displays or congestion of their entrance-way. Similarly, prolonged playing in any one area can lead to complaints; you might like to try various sites or a series of sites in rotation

  1. Be considerate!

Remember that public places are for everyone. You must not create nuisance by way of:

  • Noise – loudspeakers or amplifiers require special permission, strict conditions may apply
  • Obstruction of footpath or pedestrian areas – avoid shop entrances and always allow at least two metres space on all footpaths
  • Distribution, exposure or sale of offensive or obscene material
  • Odour or smell
  • Litter

Buskers, at all times, be capable of moving immediately at any time upon the request of the Council, its authorised Officers or other law enforcement officers.

For further information download the Buskers information booklet.


Asbestos Contamination

Properties contaminated with asbestos can be a health risk. This usually happens when the building material containing asbestos gets disturb which not only affects the residents,, but also the neighbouring properties. To prevent health risks associated with exposure to asbestos, different agencies work together to ensure that the effects are minimised.


Methamphetamine Contamination

Properties contaminated with methamphetamine pose a serious health risk, especially to their occupants.

The Council ensures that any information relating to meth contamination which is held on a property file is relayed to future owners through the Land Information Memorandum (LIM) process.

If you have a general enquiry or a complaint about contamination, you should contact the Police or Public Health South.


Recreational Water

The term ‘recreational water’ describes any body of water (still or flowing) that people come into contact with when they undertake recreational activities (bathing, water sports, domestic shellfish collection etc) (Ministry for the Environment).

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been established with parties involved in this area to work cooperatively to ensure that the water quality quidelines for marine and freshwater recreational areas are implemented and managed across Otago and Southland.

If you have an enquiry, you can contact Environment Southland, Public Health South or the Environmental Health team of the Invercargill City Council.



Please get in touch if you have any concerns or feedback about our service.   

Our environmental health team also investigate a range of matters relating to public health, including:

  • Unregistered premises,
  • industrial noise – businesses that causes noise contravenes the District Plan.
  • concerns about any premises, business or activities that was mentioned in this page.
  • complaints relating to health nuisance, i.e. pests related to the said premises, cleanliness or a premises, no ablutions, etc. 

Some complaints that relates to smell, fumes, smoke or odour will go to Environment Southland

Illnesses may need to go to Public Health South. For serious concerns, please call the emergency services.

For more information, refer to Environmental Health Complaints.


Fees and Charges

Fees are charged for new and renewal of registration applications which must be paid before a current registration certificate will be issued.

Registration renewals happen every August annually and each will include an inspection. These will be invoiced automatically at the appropriate time.

Additional fees may be charged at any stage including revisits, complaints and how long these problems or ongoing matters of concern are addressed.

For a full list refer to Environmental Health on the Fees and Charges page.


Need help?

If you have any question, issue or concern, please do not hesitate to ask us. Contact the Environmental Health team on:


On this page Starting a food business checklist Site, home kitchen, food trucks Checking with other departments Registering your business Type of Registration Verification Exemption, fundraiser and community events Stand and stall guidelines Fees Failure to comply with the Food Act Related Details Help     Selling food Under the Food Act 2014, businesses that […]

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On this page Checklist for starting your business Registering your business Changes to your business Transfer Ownership of an existing premises Licence expired Inspections Hairdressers Camping Grounds Funeral Directors Offensive Trades   Checklist for starting your business All people and businesses who wants to do hairdressing, barber, camping ground, funeral homes and offensive trades, must […]

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On this page Bylaws Checklist for starting your business Registering your business Changes to your business Transfer Ownership of an existing premises Licence expired Inspections Tattooing, Skin Piercing and Beauty Shop Mobile Traders Buskers    All people and businesses who wants to do tattoo, skin piercing (including acupuncture), some beauty shops and mobile traders must […]

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Registering and changes to your business

On this page Registering your business How to register Transfer Ownership of an existing premises Licence expired Inspections Fees and charges Help   As a business operator, it is your obligation to meet all the legislative requirements, so you need to ensure you have read and understood your responsibilities under the relevant legislation. If you […]

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