Many market stallholders may be swamped by the cost of meeting new food safety regulations according to Northland MP Winston Peters.
"If vendors have to pay hundreds of dollars for compliance many will pack up, as they are just trying to provide some local character to the market, something encouraged in provincial towns overseas," he said.
"Markets around the country could shrink."
Serious concerns were arising amongst some stallholders in Northland, who were facing a bill of up to $2000 for "authorisation".
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The fee was the same for full-time producers and food retailers as it was for individuals selling at a market for four hours a week. And it would be the same story in towns all over the country.
"Wellington bureaucrats are putting an impracticable scheme in place without a serious understanding of what happens at local markets or the challenges stallholders face," mr Peters said.
"Childcare centres have raised concerns with requirements from on high without any comprehension of how catering in the centres works. In the main catering is being done by good people who are as careful about issues of hygiene at these centres as they are in their own homes.
"It's just another example of people being penalised by those in Wellington, making laws and not understanding the needs and limitations of the population. In Northland the only person handling compliance lives in Waipu. Their travel to other towns will add significantly to the costs.
"Wellington bureaucrats, and politicians for that matter, need to understand that it is these people who are paying their wages, not some mythical economy."