Compliance Enforcement

The HSNO Act assigns enforcement roles to a number of agencies. Enforcement agencies warrant suitably qualified enforcement officers to carry out their enforcement responsibilities. While the Authority may appoint enforcement officers, or authorise others to do so, the principle role of the Authority is supervision of the inspection and enforcement of the overall regime.

Enforcement – who does what? 

The HSNO Act assigns responsibility for enforcement in various places to the following agencies:

Agency Area
Department of Labour In any place of work
Energy Safety In, at, on or around any distribution system, gas installation or gas appliance
Land Transport New Zealand Any motor vehicle, any road, any rail vehicle or any railway line
Police Any motor vehicle, any road, any rail vehicle or any railway line
Civil Aviation Authority Aircraft and aerodromes
Maritime New Zealand Ships
Ministry of Health Where it is necessary to protect public health
Territorial Authorities In or on any premises in the district of the territorial authority other than those premises specified above, or on or on those premises specified above where the function, power or duty is transferred to them by another section 97 agencyIn or on those premises specified above where they are on those premises for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of the RMA
Regional Councils In or on those premises specified above if they are on those premises for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of the RMA, or in or on those premises specified above if the function, power or duty is transferred to them by another section 97 agency


How are overlaps in responsibility for enforcement handled?

There are clearly overlaps in the distribution of responsibilities, and potential either for duplication of effort, or gaps. The HSNO Act addresses this by allowing agencies to transfer all, or some, of their powers, functions or duties to another enforcement agency. The enforcement agencies are expected to reach agreements with each other on ‘boundary issues’ also.

If you are not certain which agency is responsible for enforcement on your premises you should contact the local office of the agency which most closely matches your circumstances. For a list of contacts see Agency Contact List.

What happens in workplaces?

Compliance with the HSNO Act in workplaces will be particularly important because this is where hazardous substances are most commonly used. OSH has primary, but not sole, responsibility for enforcing HSNO in places of work. OSH is developing relationships with other agencies to achieve an efficient inspection and enforcement system. Partnership arrangements with territorial authorities are being developed where those authorities are willing to undertake HSNO inspections along with their otherduties.

For further information you can contact your local DOL branch or

Department of Labour
PO Box 3705
Wellington
Tel: +64 4 915 4444
Fax: +64 4 499 0891
Website: http://www.osh.dol.govt.nz/

Environmental Risk Management Authority’s Role

ERMA New Zealand does not carry out the enforcement of the HSNO Act – this is the role of enforcement agencies.

However, the Authority has a supervisory role in enforcement, and it can appoint enforcement officers. Enforcement agencies must report to the Authority annually on their enforcement intentions, and the Authority in turn reports to the Minister for the Environment.

The Authority also lets agencies know where it considers insufficient or unnecessary enforcement is in place. The Authority has produced a Guide to the HSNO Act for Enforcement Agencies that sets out its expectations for inspection and enforcement services. In the case of an incident or emergency, the Authority may conduct an inquiry and also report on incidents caused by inadequate management of hazardous substances. For further information see Quick guide to Enforcement and Compliance from our publications section.

For further information see Compliance FAQs.