MBIE laboratory to reopen in time for World Metrology Day

Published: 13 May 2021

Nearly five years after the closure of the former Wellington site, the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) Trading Standards laboratory in Wellington is set to reopen.

The reopening also coincides with an event for World Metrology Day. Observed on 20 May, this is an annual commemoration of the setting of global collaboration in the science of measurement.

The event is being hosted by the team at the adjacent Measurement Standards Laboratory (MSL), and Trading Standards will join them for this event. Both labs are within Callaghan Innovation’s Gracefield Innovation Quarter site in Lower Hutt.

Trading Standards Manager, Stephen O’Brien says the lab’s reopening in a new space will give the team added capacity to deliver its metrology verification and compliance services to businesses.

“We will be better able to carry out our important work making sure the weights and measures used in trade are accurate. Up until now, this work has had to be redirected to our other sites in Auckland and Christchurch incurring additional costs.

“It is very special to have this reopening coincide with World Metrology Day, as metrology forms the basis of the Trading Standards team’s work on measurements used in trade.

“Our work has a significant bearing on day to day business in New Zealand. Basically, we ensure products weigh and/or measure what they claim they do on the packet, and that equipment used for this weighing and measuring is accurate. For example, this could involve Trading Standards Officers testing equipment ranging from supermarket scales to fuel dispensers to 40 tonne weighbridges to ensure they are accurate and to protect consumers and businesses.

“We are pleased to be able to come together with our MSL colleagues to mark our two teams’ vital metrology work, which is of great economic, regulatory and scientific significance and ensures New Zealand has fair markets that thrive,” Mr O’Brien says.

Register for the World Metrology Day event(external link)

Senior Trading Standards Officer and Legal Metrology Advisor Davis White will present at the event on behalf of Trading Standards, and laboratory tours will also be available.

Note to editors: Metrology is the science of measurement, and World Metrology Day, held on 20 May each year, is the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in Paris, France, on 20 May 1875. Originally signed by 17 nations, this formed the basis of an international agreement on matters relating to units of measurement and the international metric system. The original aim of the Metre Convention - the world-wide uniformity of measurement - remains as important today as it was in 1875.

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Email: media@mbie.govt.nz