Skip to main content

Standards New Zealand works with partners across the world to provide access to international standards and is the gateway for participation on international standards development.

International first

Standards are all about not reinventing the wheel. While there are times when local conditions and circumstances call for local solutions, as New Zealand’s national standards body, we work with organisations such as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to make sure New Zealand:

  • Has access to a vast collection of global good practice.
  • Has a chance to influence international standards that we use and need.
  • Shares our knowledge with the global community as industry leaders.
  • Is across latest developments and requirements for trade including the Code of Good Practice, contained in Annex 3 of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). The Agreement exists to ensure that technical regulations, standards, measures and testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade and international standards are used to facilitate trade.

Who we work with

We have a wide network of contacts with other national standards bodies around the world as well as formal agreements and memberships with national standards bodies of significant importance to us. We also work with organisations and government bodies that advocate for and promote the needs of nations within the Pacific region, helping them to access standards and become involved in standards development for the benefit of their economies.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Standards New Zealand is an inaugural member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which was formed in 1947. It is based in Geneva Switzerland and has a membership of over 170 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop thousands of voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

International Organization for Standardization - ISO website(external link)

International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC)

The IEC is a global, not-for-profit membership organisation that brings together more than 170 countries and coordinates the work of 20,000 experts globally. The IEC has published over 10,000 international standards that underpin quality infrastructure and international trade in electrical and electronic goods. IEC standards serve as the basis for risk and quality management and are used in testing and certification to verify that devices, apparatus, equipment, systems, installations, services and people work as required.

International Electrotechnical Committee - IEC website(external link)

We provide a secretariat and operational function for the IEC National Committee of New Zealand (NCNZ), an independent advisory committee who represent New Zealand to the IEC. Learn more about the NCNZ here:

International Electrotechnical Committee New Zealand National Committee

IEC Basecamp for white papers, reports and useful resources - IEC website(external link)

There are currently 824 International Organization for Standardization (ISO) technical committees and sub-committees and 214 International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) technical committees and sub-committees that have developed more than 35,000 standards covering nearly all aspects of manufacturing, technology and management. ISO standards alone make up nearly 25,000 of those standards.

Discover more about getting involved in an International standards development committee

Standards Australia

Our 40-years-plus relationship with Standards Australia has seen thousands of joint Australian/New Zealand standards developed by joint standards development committees, comprising industry representatives that represent both New Zealand and Australian stakeholders. AS/NZS standards are used throughout regulation and industry good practice.

Standards New Zealand and Standards Australia jointly encourage the adoption of international standards first and the development of joint standards where this is not possible.

The day-to-day operation of joint committees is managed by Standards Australia or Standards New Zealand, according to which country holds secretariat responsibilities for the committee. Secretariats are allocated based on demonstrable interest, expertise, and financial resources.

Standards Australia website(external link)

Most secretariat duties are covered by Standards Australia, however Standards New Zealand has responsibility for three active committees:

  1. EL-002 is a mirror committee that helps review and amend IEC international standards adopted and published as AS/NZS versions. 
  2. QR-012 is a committee responsible for three joint Australian/New Zealand standards: AS/NZS 4417.1 Regulatory compliance mark for electrical and electronic equipment – Part 1: Use of the mark and Part 2: Specific requirements for particular regulatory applications; and AS/NZS 3820 Essential safety requirements for electrical equipment. 
  3. Joint Australian/New Zealand committee EL-036 is currently revising AS/NZS 3760 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment.

Other standards providers

British Standard Institution (BSI)

The British Standards Institution is the national standards body of the United Kingdom. BSI produces technical standards on a wide range of products and services. Standards New Zealand has its roots connected to the BSI, as prior to the establishment of our organisation, British standards were the go-to for New Zealand industries in the early 20th century. Today we provide access to hundreds of British and European standards in our webshop that can help New Zealand industries trade with and export into Europe.

American ASTM

ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organisation that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards. Several of their standards and modified adoptions of international standards are available through our webshop.

European CEN

CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, is an association that brings together the national standardisation bodies of 34 European countries. CEN is one of three European Standardisation Organisations (together with CENELEC and ETSI) that have been officially recognized by the European Union and by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as being responsible for developing and defining voluntary standards at European level.

Our involvement in the Asia Pacific region

Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC)

Established in 1972, the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) supports Pacific nation’s engagement in the international standardisation system for the advancement of economic, societal, and environmental well-being. The Asia-Pacific region has the highest levels of growth in the world and international standards are essential to facilitate trade; spread knowledge, disseminate innovative advances in technology and improve market access for goods and services.

Our Pacific neighbours’ member countries including large nations like Canada, the US, Australia, Japan and China, collectively account for 60% of the world’s population, and so giving the Pacific region a strong and influential voice and perspective at ISO, based in Geneva, to complement that of the Americas and European perspectives is important.

Pacific Area Standards Congress website(external link)

The Pacific Islands Standards Committee (PISC)

PISC, established in 2021, predominately represents the distinct needs of smaller developing nations in the Pacific Islands, which are likely to be those most heavily impacted by sea level rises anticipated with climate change. The need for economic development and climate resilience is a stark reality for them. Other priorities include building and construction standards, particularly important given increasing extreme weather events, and standards for food and beverage. Its members are officials from national standards bodies, and where these do not exist, the relevant government agency involved in standardisation, metrology and conformity assessment.

Members include the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, with New Zealand and Australia representing the largest nations in this group.