Welcome to my February update. I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
Strengthening New Zealand’s standards system
In just over a week, Standards New Zealand will become part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) when the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015 comes fully into force.
Our systems, data, and records are being moved over to MBIE and the team will continue to help develop, maintain, and provide access to standards. Touchstone will also continue to be published. There will be changes to our operational and business support structures but these are largely administrative and should have little impact.
You may have already heard from us directly about what the transition means for you – for most of our stakeholders, including our customers and clients, little will change in practical terms, and before and after the move you can expect to engage with Standards New Zealand in much the same way as you have always done. There is more information on our website.
We were delighted to send our warmest congratulations to our committee members Derek Johns and Andrew McEwen, who were in the New Year’s Honours List.
Derek became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to electrical safety standards and Andrew became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to forestry … more
New Zealand joins global forest certification scheme
In 2014, we published NZS AS 4708:2014 Sustainable forest management. The standard provides forest owners and managers with environmental, economic, social, and cultural criteria that support the sustainable management of forests. We were pleased to hear last month that New Zealand recently gained membership of the global forest certification system Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Scheme (PEFC).
New Zealand forestry relies heavily on exports, with around 70% of production being exported. Increasingly our main markets, particularly Australia, North America and Asia, are demanding third party certification as proof of legality of harvest and quality of forest management … more
Smart working and drinking straws
Two interesting international standards were published in the last month or so.
A new code of practice to help support organisations in the implementation of smart working principles – PAS 3000:2015 Smart Working – was published by BSI.
Smart working principles acknowledge that technology and flexible working patterns are changing the way we work for the better, creating modern workplaces that support more flexibility and collaboration, and provide staff with a better work/life balance. This, in turn, results in greater productivity and efficiencies for the employer … more
And ISO published a new standard for plastic drinking straws. ISO 18188:2016, Specification of polypropylene drinking straws, provides general requirements for dimensions and performance properties of plastic straws which will help manufacturers to produce consistent, quality products … more
Farewell – and welcome
This is my last CE update for Touchstone as I will not be moving with the Standards team to MBIE next month. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 11 years at Standards New Zealand and will leave with many great memories. I would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me during my time here, especially over the last six months when I have been Acting Chief Executive. This includes the Standards Council, Standards New Zealand staff, stakeholders, and those at MBIE with whom I have worked closely.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Sanjai Raj, who will lead Standards New Zealand from 1 March 2016 as the New Zealand Standards Executive, which is a new role under the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015. Sanjai is currently MBIE’s General Manager Consumer Protection and Standards branch, which Standards New Zealand is joining. The focus of the Consumer Protection and Standards branch is closely aligned with the work undertaken by Standards New Zealand, and this should provide an excellent partnership for the future.
Sanjai brings over 26 years of public sector experience to his role. He holds a Masters of Public Administration that focused on service delivery issues and he has principally been involved in administering and enforcing regulations and related statutory delegations.
The teams at both Standards New Zealand and MBIE have been working closely together to make sure the transition to MBIE goes smoothly for our customers, our people and our partners. There is no question that standards are and will remain a critical component of New Zealand’s ability to grow and deliver high quality goods and services.
I wish the new team all the very best for the future.