HONIARA, 16 JUNE 2022 – THE Honiara City Council (HCC) Health & Environment Division has warned restaurants and Kai Bars operating in the City that as of next year, all eateries will have to satisfy all requirements in the Council’s Health and environmental by-laws or ordinances before issuing any business license.
HCC’s Chairman for Health and Environment, Cr Reginald Ngati said his division has come up with a decision to serve all restaurants and Kai Bar owners with a notice, as of this week.
The notice is to warn the owners that as of 2023, business license to operate in the city will only be given to those that satisfied the requirements of the environmental act and by-laws and ordinance of the HCC.
“For now, they can operate up until the end of 2022, using their current business licenses.
“But if any eateries wants to operate next year, they have to meet the standard required,” Cr Ngati said.
He went on to say that for the past two decades, these eateries have been operating without adhering to these standards.
“The Council in the past too have not been enforcing these by-laws or ordinances.
“I think they are focusing more or interested in the revenue instead of considering the health and safety of consumers,” the Vura Ward Councilor added.
He said as the new chairman of health at HCC, he will ensure that all these health safety requirements are not overlooked, businesses must satisfy these requirements before any licenses is issues.
“We must follows the rules of the book that were there for us to apply. These are laws and rules that are established to help run the city and should not be overlooked.”
Cr Ngati also stated that this new move is also a factor that the re-development of China Town must take into consideration.
That said, any building within China Town that is going to house an eatery must meet all the requirements before getting an approval from the Town and Country Planning Board .
“With the re-development of China Town, any building owner that wants to build a restaurant must satisfy all the requirements before building it.
“It must be environment friendly, spacious and not like what we have seen in the past at China Town,” said Cr Ngati.
Meanwhile, the Health Chairman stated further that after dealing with Restaurants and Kai Bars, his staff will then visit roadside BBQ and street vendors to put some enforcement on them as per HCC Health and Environmental ordinances and by-laws.
“We will not stop them from selling food items, given the rising economic challenges citizens are facing today, but the council will be very strict with the ordinances and laws applied to them.
“If you want to continue with street vending, you must also meet health and safety standards. These standards must be enforced before we can make any attempts to close the road site food vending,” Ngati said.
Apart from the street vendors, the Health & Environmental Division team will also check on all food vendors in its market properties to ensure that they too satisfy these requirements.
The HCC Health Chairman said the sole reason behind this move is that his Division would like to ensure that every foods that are sold in Restaurants, Kai Bars, and roadside BBQs are safe for human consumption.
“We are hoping to go tough on eateries, to make some changes on our healthy behaviours which also cost the lives of many citizens as food can be a deadly killer depending on the choices we make each day on what to consume.
“So it’s important that we guide our nation, our human resources to stay healthy and that is the sole wish of my division and staff.
“Therefore, my committee is really working hard now, in trying to solve something that is really important to our city. This work will never stop, under my leadership,” Cr Ngati concluded.