Health and safety reform

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is now nearly 10 years old. It’s timely to assess how well the work health and safety system is working.

What is the work health and safety regulatory system 

What is a regulatory system?

Regulation isn’t just about the law. Parliament passes laws, but to achieve Parliament’s intended outcomes, government agencies and other organisations need to deliver services and make sure people follow the rules. The laws, rules, agencies, organisations, and their practices are collectively known as a ‘regulatory system’.

The work health and safety regulatory system is made up of the:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 
  • supporting regulations, safe work instruments, standards, approved codes of practice, and guidance that sit under the HSW Act
  • regulators that implement the law and support people to comply through engagement, enforcement, and standard setting
  • people and organisations authorised by the regulator or regulations to certify or licence businesses for high-risk work and activities.
Diagram: The Work Health and Safety Regulatory System
The Work Health and Safety Regulatory System

What we are aiming to achieve

We want to ensure that the work health and safety regulatory system is working as intended. This means that it protects people from harm, in a way that is:

  • clear
  • effective
  • flexible and durable
  • proportionate to the risks, and
  • balancing risks with costs.

Person walking between rows of trees in an orchard. The sun is low in the sky.

What we are currently working on

We are seeking people’s feedback on the work health and safety regulatory system. 

We want to hear about your experiences with New Zealand’s work health and safety regulatory system, how you think it’s working now, and what you think should change. 

Your feedback will inform our advice to Ministers on improvements we could make to the work health and safety system.

Go to the Have Your Say page on work health and safety to read more about this consultation and how to be involved:

Have your say: Work health and safety

How we want to work

We'll be consulting with workers, businesses, and the public as this work progresses. We’ll take a considered approach to evidence and identifying the problems in collaboration with our stakeholders.

We want your experiences and insights to develop new perspectives and solutions. We want to make sure we have a strong and informed evidence base so that any regulatory proposals are practical, robust and take the needs of affected businesses and individuals into account.

How you can be involved

Go to the Have your say page to see what consultations we have open for health and safety. If you’d like to be involved or otherwise kept informed about our work, you can join our mailing list. We'll only email you occasionally, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Our consultations

View all Health and Safety open consultations(external link)

View all Health and Safety closed consultations(external link)

Last updated: 14 June 2024