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Standards New Zealand has come a long way in its 91-year history and has made significant progress along the way.

2016 saw a major change, with the then Standards Council being disestablished and standards development, access (sales) and international participation functions brought into the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) under the then-new piece of legislation, the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015.(1)

In response to this change, Standards New Zealand developed and implemented a five-year strategy, which took effect in 2016. Since then, the standards landscape and operating environment has changed considerably, presenting new challenges, new customer needs, new areas of focus and new opportunities, necessitating a new strategy to take account of these changes.

To this end, our 2023 strategy focuses on delivering against four priority areas – customer services, climate change, the digital economy, and the ongoing sustainability of our business to ensure we can continue to provide value to Aotearoa New Zealand. To be sustainable, and provide good customer service, Standards New Zealand needs to remain relevant, adaptable and financially resilient in a fast-changing world.

Standards to help address climate change

The threats posed by climate change are significant, both domestically and internationally. Our products and services can add real value to the efforts of the New Zealand Government and industry to address some of the effects of this change. Through work underpinned by standards, we can help reshape our energy landscape and support the decarbonising of our key sectors. Areas of standardisation include the adoption of new renewable energies and technologies and systems that help with climate resilience, decarbonising industries, waste minimisation and increased energy efficiencies.

Standards to support the digital age and economy

Every aspect of our economy is reliant on rapidly evolving digital technologies and data information and management. Standards can help Aotearoa New Zealand to keep pace with developments in international markets and technology, ensuring that industry and government have the safeguards and protections in place and can operate smoothly and effectively in an increasingly digital world.

Standards New Zealand needs to evolve

Just as industry and government need to evolve, so too must Standards New Zealand. Standards New Zealand relies on a fully cost recoverable user-pays model to cover its costs and fund its activities. The current operating environment presents challenges to this model, especially with industry’s – and government’s – financial means having been impacted by recent global and domestic events and economic conditions. As an organisation we need to respond to this challenge by growing and investing in our offerings to provide competitively priced and accessible standards that meet users’ needs.

To this end, we need to continue to work closely with our industry and government partners to understand and respond to their changing needs and those of standards users. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do, and with agreement from all, standards provide the right solutions, adding value for all users and benefiting New Zealand.

1 The Act’s objectives are focused on achieving a high level of responsiveness to users, the timely development and maintenance of standards through an independent, representative and consensus-based model, and on maximising the contribution of standards to the economy (by helping to facilitate trade and market access, increase productivity, consumer protection and confidence and improve the health, safety and well-being of New Zealanders).

The next five years

Our new strategy tells the story of where Standards New Zealand is going over the next five years, how we intend to get there, and importantly why. This strategy provides the direction needed to help Standards New Zealand adapt to changing environmental and economic conditions and customer needs. Standards New Zealand’s sustainability will be enhanced through modernisation and diversification of our products, services and infrastructure and by delivering on the government’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi(2) obligations.

2 Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) is a living document that is fundamental to the relationships between Māori (known in Aotearoa as tangata whenua) and tangata Tiriti (people of the Treaty for example non-Māori, including European settlers). Te Tiriti o Waitangi influences all aspects of life in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi is a document of central importance to the history of New Zealand, its constitution and its national mythos.

The challenges we face are not unique. Engagement with other international standards bodies has shown that the issues and priority areas identified by Standards New Zealand are shared by many standards bodies in other countries. There is a worldwide focus on climate change and the digital economy and, through participation in international standards committees, we offer New Zealanders the opportunity to engage with a global pool of experts with high levels of specialist knowledge that can be drawn upon to enhance New Zealand’s standards in these areas.

The following sections of this document set out:

  • our vision – why we do what we do
  • our mission – what we do and how we do it
  • our goals – what we need to achieve to realise our mission and vision
  • our priorities – including key initiatives and where we need to focus our resources and efforts
  • the value – that Standards New Zealand contributes to New Zealand
  • our international – engagements, participation in standards development, relationships, and contributions
  • our strategic priorities – where we will focus our efforts and attention over the next five years.

Our strategic priorities are designed to be regularly reviewed, and adjusted when needed, to respond to any changes in our external environment.

The objectives and deliverables associated with these strategic priorities will help us to determine the progress we are making towards achieving our vision. They will also help demonstrate to our stakeholders how we are delivering against our core purpose of harnessing the power of standards to support and facilitate New Zealand’s international trade and market access, economic prosperity and keep New Zealanders safe and well.

Malcolm MacMillan

Malcolm MacMillan
National Manager, Standards New Zealand
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment