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An enduring responsibility

As the national standards body, Standards NZ adds considerable value to our economy and way of life. We have a unique responsibility in providing a means for industry and regulators to develop and access fair and independent good-practice solutions to the needs of today and tomorrow. We are kaitiaki, or guardians, protecting the legitimacy and national value of standards. We provide a gateway to representation in international standards development for industry and government to keep abreast of shifting trends and offer our own ingenuity to shared issues.

Together, our committee members, commissioning organisations and sponsors, the team at Standards New Zealand, and the Standards Approval Board contribute the guidance, standards and compliance tools that make businesses, services, and products safe, efficient, reliable, innovative and robust. This benefits all New Zealanders.

Reflecting the macro context

We do not exist in isolation. Through our important international engagement, we know that many of the issues we see here in the South Pacific are part of a greater macro context reflected in the focus of standards bodies across the globe: climate change and a need for resilience and adaptability, a need for better accessibility through digitisation of products and services, the growing threats to data and the need for privacy controls, and economic pressures on business sustainability, standards development and funding.

While pressures are felt domestically, we must also look to our neighbours in the Pacific region, many of whom lack quality infrastructure, systems and specialist expertise. They look to us for support, which we provide (for example, through attendance at regional and global forums and the provision of standards for their use also).

Our work is helping to shape Aotearoa New Zealand. This past year, standards have been created that lead to safe healthy homes, support energy efficiency, help build our national EV infrastructure, protect digital identity, and help set the path for future hydrogen adoption and integration.

The shifting economic and environmental context encourages adaptability. We have built collaborative partnerships and ensure continuous review and improvement, so we walk the talk. We’ve spoken to customers, commissioners and committee members and implemented a quality assurance and management improvement project.

A time for change

We know what works well for New Zealanders using our products and services: sponsorship that breaks down the cost barrier to ensure people have the right information to do the right thing, investment in digitisation for better accessibility, and making access to standards easier with collections tailored to solve needs in, among other things, environmental management and quality management.

With standards for diverse sectors accessed hundreds of thousands of times and over 150 new standards developed and published just this year, there’s a clear need for the guidance and performance information they provide. Our new strategic priorities, developed after six years within MBIE and outlined in this report, show how we are adapting to the challenges ahead to ensure standards remain a credible and trusted solution. This year, Standards New Zealand celebrated its 90-year anniversary and change will be critical to ensure we continue to provide value for New Zealanders over the next 90 years.