Joint Australian and New Zealand Standards

February 2017

Developing and adopting joint Australian and New Zealand Standards has provided the technical foundation for a shared system promoting safety, interoperability, sustainability and trade, since 1992.

In 2016, Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand recommitted to our partnership following changes to Standards New Zealand’s institutional arrangements. The partnership will continue to promote the harmonisation of standards across the Tasman.

It makes sense for government and industry from both countries to work together wherever possible to develop joint standards for the mutual benefit of both our economies.

For Australia and New Zealand the primary objective is, wherever possible, to adopt an existing international standard, but sometimes, for very good reasons, a national standard may be required.

Joint AS/NZS standards are developed through rigorous processes with contributions from industry, government, and community interests for balance, transparency, and integrity.

Development of joint standards requires collaboration by both standards bodies, but also by our stakeholders. Development of joint standards requires collaboration by both standards bodies, but also by our stakeholders.


What has changed?

  • Under the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015 (NZ), responsibility for standards development was transferred from the Standards Council of New Zealand to the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The changes took effect on 1 March 2016.

  • Within MBIE, the standards development function is undertaken by the New Zealand Standards Executive (NZSE), an independent statutory officer. The Standards New Zealand team is responsible for supporting the work of the NZSE on a day-to-day basis.

  • Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand have recommitted to the partnership on development of joint documents. In Australia, it is business as usual. In New Zealand, the process for initiation of joint projects has changed.

  • Standards New Zealand has continued to streamline standards development processes. This includes no longer requiring ministerial approval for standards that are cited in regulation. The independent New Zealand Standards Approval Board now has the responsibility of approving standards, which was previously the role of the New Zealand Standards Council.

How do joint projects start?

  • Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand have their own processes for commencing standards development project work.

  • Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand consult with respective Australian and New Zealand stakeholders once projects are proposed to establish whether the project should be undertaken jointly.

Is there a cost for standards development?

  • Yes. Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand have agreed on a system which allows for the allocation of costs across standards development based on resource. This is additional to the time given to the process by contributors.

  • Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand pay each other commissioning fees for projects where the other holds the secretariat. In Australia, on a transitional basis, this cost is not passed onto stakeholders.

  • In New Zealand, projects will require a party who is able to commit to the commissioning of the project and the funding of the commissioning fees. The fees are able to be co-funded by several parties.

  • The costs reflect incremental costs incurred by each organisation to develop a joint standard, as opposed to a national standard, and are based on an agreed project complexity.

What is a de-jointed standard?

A de-jointed standard is a standard that was once published as a joint AS/NZS standard in both countries but has since continued as a standard in Australia or New Zealand only. On the commencement of a project on a de-jointed standard, steps are taken to ensure there is no confusion in both countries.

How do I find out more on joint standards?

In Australia please contact
In New Zealand please contact