Standards New Zealand salutes its committee volunteers
17 June 2009
Volunteers, and the organisations that nominate them, are the lifeblood of the Standards development process in New Zealand. Each year, hundreds of New Zealanders from across the country contribute their time, skills, and effort to helping develop Standards. Committee volunteers come from all walks of life, and include consumers, community group advocates, industry association advocates, employees, and sector specialists, along with local and central government representatives.
Standards New Zealand, a not-for-profit Crown-owned entity, is responsible for developing Standards covering an enormous breadth of subject areas, from health and disability services, building, engineering, and organic production, to bungy jumping, gas and electricity, energy efficiency, and risk management.
Debbie Chin, Standards New Zealand’s Chief Executive, says the commitment and professionalism of volunteers serving on Standards committees is fundamental to ensuring the national Standards body maintains integrity, independence, and rigour across Standards development.
‘Our committee members are central to the Standards development process. They make an immense contribution to New Zealanders and our country that results in wide-ranging benefits for everyone, including improved safety, quality, convenience, efficiency, and prosperity. In a practical sense, Standards also increase productivity, trade and growth opportunities for New Zealand.’
‘They understand the technical requirements, opportunities for standardisation and sector issues – and the people who contribute their goodwill, energy, and expertise to address them. Our volunteers also bring new ideas, new insights, and new ways to approach difficult problems. We continue to seek ways to make their participation easier and strengthen our volunteer base.’
‘As part of Volunteer Week, and on behalf of the Standards Council and Standards New Zealand team, we would like to salute all our volunteers for the contribution they make to our Standards development process and to New Zealand.’
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Standards New Zealand
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About Standards New Zealand
Standards New Zealand is the operating arm of the Standards Council, and part of New Zealand’s standards and conformance infrastructure. Standards New Zealand is an autonomous Crown entity responsible for managing the development and distribution of Standards across a range of sectors nationally.
Standards New Zealand is a self-funded, not-for-profit organisation, relying on revenue primarily from contracts with sponsors to develop Standards, and from sales of Standards publications. Our independence helps us facilitate a cross section of stakeholders’ contributions to the development of Standards, and ensure that each Standard meets the needs of end users.
A Standard is a document that defines materials, methods, processes, practices, or outcomes and, in doing so, sets quality and safety levels. Standards range from technical guidelines for earthquake resistant building design to safety specifications for household electrical appliances and screening and intervention guidelines for family violence.
Standards are generally voluntary, but can be mandatory when cited in legislation or regulation. Standards may also be cited in regulation as one means of compliance without being mandatory.
As Standards are developed independently, and involve representatives from all stakeholders, they are often more workable and accepted among communities and industry than prescriptive regulation.