The Statutory Gambit

One of the most common areas of concern to manufacturing managers is the tiptoe through the statutory minefield. For a particular item of work, what laws are relevant, which standards appropriate, how do the local authorities fit in and when are permits necessary.

Even most of our lawmakers are not likely to understand the hidden details of all our laws.

This article endeavors to be a simple summary of the statutes and requirements that most frequently effect the manufacturing operation. Items of law and practice that effect business and engineering alterations are as follows:

Statutes (laws), Professional Standards, International standards, Local body ordinances, Codes of Practice with the typical impact of each of these as follows:


The Government has at various times passed statutes and laws that directly affect the manufacturing operation. It is the responsibility of all corporate citizens to comply with these laws with the main statutes that effect the Manufacturing operation as follows:

With the above being main statutes that impact all business the Electricity Regulations 1993, the Dangerous Goods regulations, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries regulations, Health and Food regulations and many other statutes also impact specific sectors of industry.

Local Body Ordinances

Under the Local Government Acts the local authorities are able to issue specific requirements in addition to the national statutory requirements. These requirements typically concern items such as allowable noise, glare, carparks, fence heights, etc. These differ between local authorities and also need to be considered where capital alterations are evident.


There are a large number of international and local standards available of differing degrees of use and local acceptances. The Building Act and its accompanying Code mentions standards that are acceptable when constructing or altering business premises. In general standards are developed by the Standards body and a team of 'industry experts' to define a consistent and proven methodology to solving specific tasks. Most business and engineering tasks are well advised to follow accepted standards unless some a real benefit is perceived by a new design method. Items that require local authority permits typically insist on compliance with recognised standards.

Standard Authorities that are commonly used within include: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Standards Australia, New Zealand Standards, British Standards, Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE), etc.

Codes of Practice

A variety of Industry Authorities have developed a range of Codes of Practice that need to be adhered to for particular industries and functions. Specific Codes that are found in New Zealand Industry include:


Happy hunting for the statutes and codes that refer to the task at hand, but like all good rules there are always exceptions.

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Abstel-Glyde are a team of Industrial Engineering specialists with advanced business training and expertise. All comments made are opinion only and should not be used without the written permission from Glyde.