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The roles of EPA and WorkSafe

The hazardous substances reforms will bring changes to the roles of both the EPA and WorkSafe.

Broadly, the EPA will continue to have responsibility for approving and classifying hazardous substances; while WorkSafe will administer and enforce workplace requirements provided in the Regulations.


The EPA will focus on ‘upstream’ activities under HSNO - it will continue to receive applications for approval to import or manufacture new hazardous substances, assess the risks and decide whether the substances should be approved for use in New Zealand. It will continue to be responsible for setting the rules for classification, labelling, safety data sheets, packaging and disposal, as well as for protecting the environment and public health.


Under HSWA, WorkSafe will focus on the ‘downstream’ use, storage and handling of hazardous substances in workplaces.

Under HSNO, WorkSafe will enforce the ecotoxic and disposal requirements in the workplace.


You can read more about the roles of WorkSafe and the EPA.

Our summary table gives an at-a-glance overview of these roles [PDF 91KB]

Hazardous substances WorkSafe EPA Infographic


Last updated 20 October 2017

Hazardous Substances Regulations

This page relates to the new Hazardous Substances Regulations that will come into force on 1 December 2017. Until then the current Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act remains in force in its current form.