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Issue 3 January 2014


Firstly we would like to wish all our readers a very happy and prosperous New Year.  If 2014 is half as exciting as 2013 was, with all the changes that emerged, then we will be in for quite a year.  2013 saw some major developments – a new name, new head office premises in Wellington, re-vamped legislation that affects Trading Standards to name but three.

As always change presents challenges and in keeping with the way we work we see partnerships and cooperation with stakeholders being the key.  Accredited Persons (APs) are right up there as a major stakeholder group and over the coming months we envisage continued close working relationship that hopefully prove mutually beneficial.

We are working hard to make sure that the work around legal metrology is recognized as an essential ‘cornerstone’ for a fair, safe and equitable trading environment in New Zealand.  To that end you can anticipate your client managers making contact, seeking your views and information that help promote and reinforce this message.We look forward to working with you in 2014.

Please forward this email newsletter onto all APs or other interested parties within your organisation.

Previous issues can be obtained online.

Stephen O’Brien
Manager Trading Standards

Keeping Accredited Persons safe

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is committed to the safety and wellbeing of its employees, contractors and clients and has set up a safety and wellbeing programme. The purpose of this programme is to mitigate potential hazards in the workplace. In order to effectively monitor and manage workplace hazards, comprehensive procedures have been documented. Trading Standards (TS) laboratories have successfully completed an audit that was commissioned by the ACC. Following this, a hazard register has been created and other processes to identify, eliminate or minimise potential hazards in the laboratory environment have been put in place.

Due to requirements within the Health and Safety Employment Act 1992; Trading Standards have set up a safety procedure for accredited persons who are involved in assisting with the testing of standards in the laboratories.

APs who wish to assist Trading Standards Officers (TSOs) in the verification and adjustment of their standards will need to:

  • Go through a 5 minute induction process and sign a check sheet acknowledging an understanding og the potential hazards. The site specific induction will be valid for 12 months
  • Sign a site register (in and out) every time they are on TS premises
  • Wear the required safety equipment. You must supply safety boots. Safety glasses, high viability vests and ear plugs can be provided
  • Be accompanied by a TSO at all times whilst working in the laboratories.

Reducing the strain of testing 20kg standards

Trading Standards very own in-house engineer, Julian Crane, was tasked with a project to design and install a mass handling system for Christchurch and Wellington laboratories. The brief was to reduce the risk of muscular strain on TSOs while lifting 20kg mass standards.

The bespoke system was installed into the Christchurch laboratory in December. A similar system is to be fitted in the Wellington laboratory in the coming months.

The new mass handling system means that 20kg standards now require only to be handled twice, once to load the pallet and again to unload. They are lifted onto a custom built pallet that can hold up to 300kg, which is transferred to a roller table by forklift. The rollers allow the pallet to be lined up with a row of standards under a monorail that supports an actuator (lifting rod). The actuator has two speeds; initially rapid down then creep for the last 50mm. The creep speed function allows the mass under test be placed gently onto the balance, which has a block of high density foam on the receptor to reduce shock loading and a self-levelling pan.

The reference standard sits on the nest behind the balance and swings around on its arm against a stop so it always returns to the centre of the pan. The adjusting table is on the left.

The system has been in use in Christchurch for 2 months and Julian is very happy with how it is performing. 

If you would like more details on the design, please contact Julian Crane (Julian’s details are in the contacts section below).

Management representatives information request

Trading Standards would like to obtain an accurate overview of the number of weighing and measuring instruments that are being used for trade in New Zealand.

We believe this information is valuable for both Trading Standards and Accredited Organisations. This information would allow:

  • International comparisons to take place
  • TS annual inspection plan to be based on the proportion of instruments in use as opposed to historical trends
  • Better use and redistribution of resources and time,
  • TS to show the value of the accreditation scheme, which has been in operation since 1991, and
  • Management Representatives to establish the proportion of instruments their organisation covers.

The information provided by each management representative will be held in confidence by the Ministry.

Once this information is received from all Accredited Organisations, the collective totals for each category of instrument obtained will be published in this newsletter.  

The scope of this request includes only instruments that were affixed with your accredited organisation’s Certificate or Accuracy between 1st Jan 2013 - 31st Dec 2014. Kevin Gudmundsson, Legal Metrology Advisor, will make contact with you in February to provide further details, including time frames.

A New Year sees the start of a new officer for Auckland

Davis White

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome and introduce Davis White, who has joined the Auckland team for a 9 month contract to increase support and coverage to the upper north island.
Davis is an experienced UK trading standards officer and has been involved in the enforcement of Weights and Measures for last 8 years. He is keen to learn how Trading Standards operates in NZ, especially the accreditation scheme and the interaction we have with APs.
Davis says he is looking forward to gaining experience and expanding his knowledge of the weights and measures system used in New Zealand.

Including APs into the newsletter distribution list

This newsletter currently distributed only to management representatives. Trading standards would like to increase the coverage and send it directly to Accredited Persons.

Kevin Gudmundsson, Legal Metrology Advisor, will make contact with management representatives in February to request email address for all APs within your organisation or alternatively branch email addresses.  

It is essential that the information contained in these newsletters, such as how to gain access to the approvals ‘zip file’ (November’s issue) or the new health and safety requirements when entering Trading Standards laboratories’ is provided to all APs.

The latest approvals for your information

Approvals issued since the November issue of ‘The Measure’.

New name generates new approvals prefix

With the change in our name, a new prefix has been introduced for approvals. From 19/09/2013 all new approvals will have the prefix 'TS'.

Some confusion has been noticed over which prefix; ‘TSS’, ‘TMU’, ‘MCA’ and now ‘TS’, is to appear before the type approval number. The important part is the approval number (e.g. 2108). This is the unique identifier for an instrument and as long as it is correct, the legal obligations will be correct.

TS does not require the approval numbers on legend plates of instruments currently in use to be updated, however if they are being reprinted or replaced, the prefix to the Type Approval number should be updated to ‘TS’.

Technical talk booklet

Trading Standards Tech Talk is the new face for Technical Bulletins.  The Tech Talk booklet is aimed at creating a platform to share information and answer technical questions that APs may have in regards to weighing & measuring instruments.

Trading Standards is currently compiling previously issued Technical Bulletins and policy decisions into a single document.  The booklet is in the draft stage and once completed it will be made available to management representatives for comment. 

Once finalised, the document will be made available on the Trading Standards website. When updates are required, the whole document will be re-released with a new version number. It will be the responsibility of the management representatives to ensure APs are using the latest version.

One for all logo

Following the recent IANZ audit, Trading Standards’ IANZ accredited laboratories have merged under a single scope of accreditation. This allows a single laboratory number, 690, to be used for all the verification reports, regardless of where the standards were tested. It also provides TS signatories the flexibility to interchange between the three laboratories. 

A copy of IANZ certificate of accreditation can be downloaded online.

Trading Standards Trade Measurement contacts

Auckland: PO Box 19543, Auckland 1746

Trading Standards Officers:
Agatha Cordeiro       09 970 4359 or  021 482 712
Alex Day                  09 970 4354 or  021 245 7262
Davis White              09 970 4355

Trainee Trading Standards Officer:
David Antunovich      09 970 4358 or  021 244 9194

Advisor Type Approvals and Technical:
Srinivas Bobbala       09 970 4352 or  021 582 055

Christchurch:    Private Bag 4714, Christchurch

Trading Standards Officers:
Julian Crane             03 962 6216 or  021 349 866
Ben Aitken               03 962 6218 or  021 445 857

National Operational Team Leader:
Bob Jones                03 962 6214 or  021 451 542 

Wellington:       PO Box 10729, Wellington 6011

Trading Standards Officers:
Drew Delany             04 901 1281 or 029 771 0085
Phil Sorrell               04 901 2420 or 0218399487

Acting Legal Metrology Advisor:
Kevin Gudmundsson 04 939 8429 or  021 244 7313

Trading Standards Manager:
Stephen O'Brien       04 460 1367 or  021 221 4830

Administrative Support:
Isabel Bennett           04 498 7447