UPDATE FROM DEBBIE CHIN

 

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UPDATE FROM DEBBIE CHIN

VERY BEST WISHES FOR 2013

A warm welcome to the first issue of Touchstone for 2013. I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday break and my very best wishes to you for the year ahead that looks like it will be as busy, if not busier, than 2012.

With the launch of our new website coming up this month, you will see our new branding which we developed in-house. We hope you like our new logo and colours, although the old logo and colours will be seen for a while as we replace stock.

OUR NEW WEBSITE AND SPEX UPDATE

I'm delighted to announce that the launch date for our new website will be Monday, 25 February, subject to final testing. The new site has been built with responsive design to enable it to perform on a variety of devices from large screen desktop computers through to smart phones. It has a new search engine that is significantly faster than the current one and, as we tune it, it will enable you to access products and information progressively more quickly and efficiently. We welcome your feedback.

Please note that we expect the current site including the online library service to be out of service from 5pm Saturday 23 February through to midnight while we make the final changes to put the new site live. The site may be intermittently unavailable for short periods of time during Sunday 24 February as we complete live user testing during the day. Further notices will be sent to all customers closer to the time.

We have now completed an initial proof of concept phase for our SPEX (Committee Extranet Tool) Replacement Project with a small trial group. The trial went well, though the feedback was not conclusive. Some participants welcomed the ability to carry out more functions while others found using a more complex system problematic. We will be following up the trial with a series of face-to-face interviews with the small trial group and then an all-committee member survey to determine the appetite for greater functionality for our online committee tools, and to uncover any limitations posed by the systems being used to access them.

If you would like to let us know what you need from a collaboration tool, you are welcome to email the team at enquiries@standards.co.nz.

ANNUAL PERFORMANCE AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY

Standards New Zealand is always looking for ways to improve our products and services provided to our Standards development clients, committee members, and customers. To help achieve this, we have commissioned independent research company, Andrew Fletcher Consulting, to conduct our annual performance and customer satisfaction survey shortly. This is your chance to tell us what we do well, and what we could do better.*

The survey is web-based and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. All responses will remain confidential, with the results being amalgamated so that no individuals can be identified.

Please take this opportunity to tell us what you think – we look forward to receiving your feedback.

*A pre-survey invite email will be sent out by us in late-February/early March through which you can unsubscribe to this survey if you prefer.

PUBLISHED AND CITED STANDARDS

The end of 2012 was a hive of activity at Standards New Zealand as we published important Standards in the electrical and building sectors, including Amendment 2 to AS/NZS 3000:2007 Electrical installations and Amendment 5 to NZS 3640:2003 Chemical preservation of round and sawn timber. You can find these in the electrical and building pages of Touchstone. You can also read about newly cited Standards in our articles in Occupational Safety: New Code of Practice for storage tanks and New Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Arboriculture.

CONGRATULATIONS ON HONOUR WELL-DESERVED

Former committee member Lorna Sullivan was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year's Honours List.

Lorna has been an advocate for New Zealanders with disabilities since the 1980s. She was a foundation board member of Access Ability, a member of the national executive of the Disabled Persons' Assembly of New Zealand, and is a member of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission Working Group for Disability.

Lorna worked on the Standards New Zealand Health and Disability Working Group that developed NZS 8134:2001 Health and Disability Services Standards (updated in 2008).

HEAVY PENALTY FOR BREACHING MANDATORY PRODUCT SAFETY STANDARD

The value of Standards and accurate labelling was reinforced in a recent decision made by the Australian Federal Court when Cotton On Kids was ordered to pay $1 million to the Commonwealth of Australia.

Between September and December 2010, the company supplied about 2500 girls' night dresses and pyjamas that breached fire safety Standards. The items were also incorrectly fitted with a tag reading 'Low Fire Danger'.

In 2008, we published an amendment to AS/NZS 1249:2003 Children's nightwear and limited daywear having reduced fire hazard. The New Zealand-only amendment updated the labelling of category 2 and 3 clothing to inform consumers the garments are not heat or flame resistant and should be snug fitting to reduce risk.

NEW APPOINTMENTS FOR STANDARDS COUNCIL MEMBERS

Standards Council member Tom Campbell has been appointed Chair of the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority. Tom was appointed to the Standards Council by the Minister of Commerce in May 2010. He is also chair of Crown research institute GNS Science and a director of Todd Corporation, PowerNet, and Electricity Invercargill.

Standards Council member Vaughan Renner has been appointed Deputy Chair of Whitireia Polytechnic. Vaughan has been a Council member since 2005 and was nominated by Business New Zealand.

Debbie Chin
Chief Executive

Published in general.

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