Evaluation of hazardous substances compliance system

An independent Technical Working Group evaluated the hazardous substances compliance system in New Zealand.

The hazardous substances compliance system is designed to protect New Zealand and New Zealanders from environmental risks and disasters.

While rare, environmental incidents involving chemicals and other hazardous substances highlighted the need to look at the existing compliance system.

The evaluation process and report

Compliance and enforcement action needs to be swift and sure, which is why we funded an independent Technical Working Group (TWG) to analyse the hazardous substances compliance system; comment on whether it is fit for purpose; and recommend improvements.

It was not intended that the evaluation would make any recommendations about legislative changes to the:

  • Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO)
  • Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA)
  • Resource Management Act (RMA)

The TWG engaged with key players in the hazardous substance compliance system. Local government and other agencies involved in the compliance system had the opportunity to provide any feedback to the TWG, ahead of the completion of the final report.

The TWG started its evaluation in October 2018, and published its findings to the chief executives of the Ministry for the Environment and the Environmental Protection Authority in 2019.

Read the TWG's report on New Zealand's hazardous substances compliance system (pdf, 677 KB)

The Technical Working Group 

The Ministry for the Environment and the Chief Executive of the EPA appointed an the independent Technical Working Group.

Technical Working Group’s terms of reference (pdf, 168KB)

Lisa te Heuheu (Chair)

Lisa was appointed Tumuaki (chair) of Ngā Kaihautū on 1 July 2017. Lisa is passionate about Māori achieving their aspirations in regards to the environment, sustainable development and people growth.

She has a background in resource and environmental planning and in Māori natural resource management. Lisa currently works as a consultant for her company which she established in 2008. She has worked with iwi and hapū, in the public sector, as an academic research Fellow, and with primary sector organisations.

Peter Harris

Peter was a university lecturer in economics before joining the research division of The New Zealand Public Service Association (PSA), producing research and policy advice and building the PSA’s research capability. He was head of the technical services division at the NZ Council of Trade Unions and its main spokesperson on economic issues.

He later served as economic advisor to Michael Cullen, Minister of Finance, and is now a consultant engaging extensively in workplace issues. He is a former board member of the Electricity Commission and the Electricity Authority Establishment Board, and is a member of the Expert Advisory Panel for the Electricity Price Review.

Lindsay McKenzie

Lindsay has had a long and illustrious career in local government. Born in Invercargill, he worked at Southland Regional Council where he became general manager. He became the Chief Executive of Gisborne District Council, and then Chief Executive Officer of Tasman District Council in 2012, a position that he held until May 2018.