Transporting dangerous goods within New Zealand is governed by five principal pieces of legislation covering the three transport modes. These acts, regulations and rules cover dangerous goods, including infectious and radioactive materials. All have transport-related compliance requirements.
The following competent authorities administer various aspects of dangerous goods transport and storage.
Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA New Zealand)
The Ministry for the Environment is responsible for the administration (essentially the design and content) of the HSNO Act and Regulations. The legislation covers all hazardous substances (except radioactive materials and infectious substances) throughout their lifecycle. ERMA New Zealand implements the legislation. It is also responsible for approving the importation and manufacture of hazardous substances and applying the controls regulating the transport, storage, use and disposal of those hazardous substances. ERMA New Zealand also has various monitoring and review roles, including the ability to inquire into incidents and emergencies involving hazardous substances.
NZ Transport Agency
Website: www.nzta.govt.nz(external link)
Phone (04) 894 5400
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is a Crown entity established on 1 August 2008, under the amended Land Transport Management Act 2003, and brings together the functions of Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand to provide an integrated approach to transport planning, funding and delivery.
NZTA administers the Land Transport Act, Regulations and Land Transport Rule which provides for licence endorsement, documentation, segregation and labelling (placarding) of vehicles and loads.
Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005 (Rule 45001/1) sets out responsibilities for consignors, loaders and drivers/operators, and requirements for packaging (except packaging approvals), identification, documentation, segregation, transport procedures and training.
The Dangerous Goods Rule 2005, which is enforced by the Police on Land Transport NZ’s behalf, applies to anyone transporting dangerous goods on land (and includes items for personal or recreational use). Land Transport View the Dangerous Goods Rule 2005 here(external link).
Maritime New Zealand
Website: www.maritimenz.govt.nz(external link)
Phone 0508 225 522
The Maritime Safety Authority became Maritime New Zealand on 1 July 2005 with wider responsibilities including maritime safety, security and marine environment protection. Maritime New Zealand administers the Maritime Transport Act 1994 and Maritime Rule Part 24A. It is responsible for all aspects of dangerous goods transport by sea. Requirements are set out in the Maritime Transport Act and the Maritime Rules, and include compliance with the IMDG Code. Training requirements are specified in Appendix 2 to MARITIME Rule Part 24A (see ‘Training’ on page 41).
The dangerous goods Rule can be viewed at
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
Website: www.caa.govt.nz(external link)
Phone (04) 560 9400
The CAA administers the Civil Aviation Act 1990, and is responsible for all aspects of dangerous goods transport by air. Requirements are set out in CAA Rule Part 92. They include compliance with the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of dangerous goods by Air unless the Rule allows an alternative requirement.
Legal requirements are specified in the ICAO Technical Instructions. International, domestic and regional airlines operating in New Zealand generally comply with the IATA dangerous goods Regulations. These include requirements of the ICAO Technical Instructions but in some areas are more restrictive. Enquiries relating to air transport of dangerous goods should be directed to the relevant airline.
The dangerous goods Rule can be viewed at: http://www.caa.govt.nz/rules/Part_092_brief.htm(external link)
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Website: www.maf.govt.nz(external link)
Phone (04) 474 4100
MAF is responsible for animal and plant infectious substances and administers the Biosecurity Act.
Phone 0800 809 966 to report suspected exotic diseases in animals and plants.
Department of Labour
Website: www.dol.govt.nz(external link)
Phone 0800 20 90 20 or (04) 915 4000
The Department of Labour is responsible for ensuring that the provisions of the HSNO Act (including any controls imposed or approvals granted under the HSNO Act) are enforced in any place of work.
Ministry of Health
Website: www.moh.govt.nz(external link)
Phone (04) 496 2000
The Ministry is responsible for classifying infectious substances affecting humans and providing packaging approvals if the packaging does not comply with the standard specified in section 3.2(5)(a) of the Land Transport Rule: dangerous goods 2004 (Rule 45001/1).
Ministry of Health (National Radiation Laboratory)
Website: www.nrl.moh.govt.nz(external link)
Phone (03) 366 5059
The National Radiation Laboratory administers the Radiation Protection Act 1965 and Regulations and is responsible for classification, storage, transport and packaging approval for Class 7 (radioactive material).
Regulation 3 of the Radiation Protection Regulations 1982 stipulates that radioactive material is transported in accordance with the International Atomic Energy Agency Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material (IAEA Transport Regulations). The latest version is the 1996 edition (revised).These regulations are reproduced in the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, IMDG Code and the ICAO Technical Instructions and IATA Regulations. The National Radiation Laboratory publication ‘Road Transport of Radioactive Materials: Requirements and Guidance Notes for Drivers and Handlers’ can be downloaded from the NRL website: http://www.nrl.moh.govt.nz/regulatory/transportbrochure.pdf(external link)
Class 9 Miscellaneous Dangerous Substances may not all fall within the jurisdiction of any one authority. Asbestos is an example of a substance that has different controls imposed depending on the stage of its lifecycle and its use or location. Occupational exposure is regulated by the Department of Labour while the Ministry of Health is concerned with public health issues, which includes non-occupational exposure. Regional councils and territorial authorities may have an interest in its disposal.
A substance containing asbestos would be a hazardous substance under HSNO, however, a manufactured Asbestos Containing Material (ACM)) is not covered by HSNO. Several agencies are involved in the management of ACM.
ERMA is responsible for Environmentally Hazardous Substances.
Note: Competent Authority approvals may not be universal and more than one approval may be required.
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