Health and safety reform

With the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and the first set of regulations in place, we are continuing to look at ways to improve health and safety regulations.

What we are aiming to achieve

Many of our current regulations are out of date, incomplete, and too prescriptive. We need to improve these regulations to make sure that they are:

  • effective at reducing harm
  • targeted to the critical risks
  • clear for duty holders
  • working as intended.

We will:

  • improve the regulations for plant and structures, hazardous work, and hazardous substances
  • look at risks for young people who do hazardous work
  • check whether the regulations for mining and quarrying, adventure activities, and petroleum are working well.

As we plan out our work on the different topic areas we will add more information to this section, including timeframes and processes.

What we are currently working on

We have worked with WorkSafe NZ and stakeholders to decide on the priority areas.

Currently we are working on:

  • plant and structures – this covers a wide range of topics
    • work machinery, equipment and tools
    • mobile plant such as tractors, quad bikes and elevated work platforms
    • existing regimes for pressure equipment, cranes, and fairground rides
    • working at heights and excavations
  • developing a new licencing system for scaffolders and refrigeration technicians
  • Our upcoming set of priorities include:
  • hazardous substances regulations under the Health and Safety at Work Act
  • hazardous work risks eg work that involves hazardous noise levels or hazardous manual tasks.

As we progress the regulatory work, we are looking to identify cross-cutting and sector-specific areas to address, such as construction, agriculture and forestry.

Work on reviewing the mining and quarrying regulations has been completed and phased transition is underway.

Read the Health and Safety at Work (Mining and Quarrying Operations) Amendment Regulations 2022:

Health and Safety at Work (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Amendment Regulations 2022 (SL 2022/176) - New Zealand Legislation(external link)

Work on aligning the Health and Safety in Employment (Pipelines) Regulations 1999 with current industry standards has been completed.

Read the Health and Safety in Employment (Pipelines) Amendment Regulations 2023:

Health and Safety in Employment (Pipelines) Regulations 1999 (SR 1999/350) (as at 22 June 2023)(external link) — New Zealand Legislation

Our consultations

View all Health and Safety open consultations(external link).

View all Health and Safety closed consultations(external link).

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

We’re trying to coordinate work to minimise time and effort required from stakeholders. We’ll be contacting stakeholders as we start work on each of these policy priorities.

Each issue we're trying to tackle is different, so we expect that each topic is likely to progress at its own pace.

If you would like to share any relevant information with us about these topic areas, such as issues you’ve identified, email with your area of interest in the subject line.

If you’d like to be involved or otherwise kept informed about the process, you can join our mailing list. We'll only email you occasionally, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Subscribe for updates(external link)

Go to the Have your say page to see what consultations we have open for health and safety.

Last updated: 24 August 2023