An Eye on Regulation

By NZISM Secretary


Kia ora koutou members and supporters of NZISM. Happy New Year, and I hope you all had a restful break.

Last year I had a personal focus on raising our profile as a trusted profession. And while the team and I will continue to chip away at that, this year I see an opportunity to look at what the future might hold for us as a profession. To me, this means making sure we are well placed to capitalise on any opportunities that might present themselves, aspiring to be involved in areas that can benefit from our influence or input, and keeping informed so we know what might eventuate.

Setting us up nicely for this was Selena’s use of the Official Information Act (1982) process to obtain some of the briefings, aide-memoire, and reports sent to the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety.

There were a number of meeting minutes from the Government Health and Safety at Work Strategy Stakeholder Reference Group (now defunct and being replaced), along with an Aide Memoire from 20 August 2021 titled: Regulating health and safety professions and the inclusion of occupational health in the health sector. One particular section of the Aide Memoire caught my eye which discusses regulation of health and safety professionals, such as compulsory registration, accreditation or licensing, and includes generalists such as ourselves. To be clear, this is not on the table at present; although the briefing does state:

"Regulation of currently unregulated disciplines remains an option for the future, but this would need to be carefully evaluated in terms of its benefits and costs. Considerations include how much value such a measure would add to non-legislative approaches, and whether the relevant disciplines are sufficiently mature for regulation to be effectively implemented."

NZISM already has a comprehensive process for accreditation that aligns with international standards, so we are well placed should the topic of regulation be raised again. Personally, I think the future is likely to bring tighter regulatory controls than we currently have, so keeping track of developments in this area and maintaining a sharp focus on our leadership position in occupational health and safety will be critical. Whilst regulation is not likely an agenda item for this year, I’m sure 2022 is going to be an interesting time for us regardless!

Those interested can view the list of briefings, aide-memoire and reports to the Minister on the WorkSafe website.

If you wish to contact me, please do so by email at


NZISM President