Public consultation on timber standards NZS 3640 and NZS 3602

Powelltown Sawmill Logs

Public consultation on the draft revisions of NZS 3640 Chemical preservation of round and sawn timber[1] and NZS 3602 Timber and wood based products for use in buildings ends on 6 April 2018. The purpose of this communication is to encourage you to submit feedback on the two drafts, through the public consultation process

Public consultation

Public consultation is an important step in the development process, as it is an opportunity for individuals, organisations, and the wider sector to have their say on the draft. The P3640 and P3602 committees have a responsibility to ensure each and every submission is considered individually and a decision is made by the full committees on the submissions. Standards New Zealand is responsible for ensuring that the committees discharge this role.

You can view the draft standard and submit comments at the Standards New Zealand website. We encourage you to submit your feedback via this process, as email discussion will not be considered by the committees.

The closing date for all comments is 6 April 2018.

Next steps

Once public consultation closes, the standards committees will consider all of the submissions received on the drafts, and changes will be made to the draft standards as appropriate. When a standards development committee reaches consensus on the technical content of a draft standard, a ballot draft is prepared on which a vote is cast by each member of the committee who is eligible to vote. Each committee member will vote to represent the views of their nominating organisation. Based on the outcome of the ballot process, Standards New Zealand provides a memo to the Standards Approval Board, seeking approval for the standard to be published.

Development of the draft standards and management of conflict of interest

The development and revision of New Zealand Standards is undertaken in a manner that is consistent with international principles and the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015. For example, committees are required to operate on a consensus basis and constitute a balanced representation of relevant stakeholder interests, and all standards are publicly consulted on.

Standards development committees may establish working groups to assist them in their work. Where a committee is responsible for a complex or large standard, it can be more effective to form working groups to develop the detailed requirements for specific sections. Working groups may also be established to focus on particular tasks that are best handled by a smaller group of experts rather than in a committee.

A working group was established to review the applications in response to a call for information, issued in July 2016, for new or amended timber treatments to inform the revision of NZS 3640 and, in October 2016, on additional timber products to inform the revision of NZS 3602. The establishment of the working group and how it would operate was agreed to by the committees.

While some parts of the application were shared with the full committee, some of the information provided by the applicants was kept to the working group to maintain confidentiality, at the applicant’s request, as it included proprietary information, efficacy reports, and copyright information. The working group made a recommendation to the full committee on this confidential information, which was independently peer reviewed, so the full committee could consider the working group and the independent peer reviewer’s recommendations in the broader context of the revisions.

When a person is nominated by a nominating organisation to be on a standards development committee, they are required to complete a conflict of interest disclosure statement as part of the nomination process. All conflicts of interest are managed by Standards New Zealand in association with the chair of the committee. For example, for the review of applications for new or amended treatments to be included in the draft standard NZS 3640, extra steps were taken to ensure conflicts were managed for the decision-making process. Members on the committee, who were also members of organisations who had submitted an application, were able to provide details on the application to the full committee, but were not part of the decisions on their organisation’s applications.

Standards New Zealand remains committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure that the integrity of the standards process is not compromised. As stated previously, we would encourage you to submit your feedback via the public consultation process so the committee and Standards New Zealand hear your views on the draft standard.

You can find more information on the process on the news section of the Standards New Zealand website.

[1] The draft standard DZ3640 is proposing that the name of the standard is changed to Preservation of wood and timber based products.

Published in building.