Last month (March 2016) a new ‘Standards’ body came into effect and Standards New Zealand became part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) under the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015.
The role and functions of the Standards Council now come under the NZ Standards Executive (NZSE) who is Sanjai Raj – previously the general manager Consumer Protection and Standards.
The Act also set up a new Standards Approval Board, which operates as an independent statutory board, responsible for approving the country’s Standards and membership of standards development committees.
These independent committees can include representatives from industry bodies, consumer groups, NGOs, and State sector agencies, experts from the relevant sector, academics and other suitable people.
Under the Act, the NZSE must submit proposals for committee membership and proposals for NZ Standards to the Standards Approval Board for approval, which essentially separates the Standards development process from the approval function. As previously, the development of Standards will continue to be a fully cost-recovered third-party-funded activity. The main difference is that the Act strengthens the cost-recovery framework by making it more transparent, providing principles that the NZSE must have regard to when setting fees.
Essentially Standards NZ will be funded from revenue earned. A pricing model based on the appropriated budget (i.e. the cost structure within a government department) is being developed that will set the charge-out rates for development and the structure for pricing hardcopy and PDF standards.
Standards New Zealand now provides services on a cost-recovery basis only, which means membership is no longer offered in the form of discounted products or services.
The MBIE says this is consistent with the cost-recovery principles in the Act, which the NZSE must have regard to when setting fees.
“Existing memberships will be honoured, and discounts provided until each membership expires over the coming months,” says the MBIE. “Credit terms will continue to be available to customers on application. All services, resources and products will continue to be available to all customers.”