Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996

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Reprint as at 18 July 2013

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996

Public Act1996 No 30
Date of assent10 June 1996
Commencementsee section 1(2)


Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by the Ministry for the Environment.



1 Short Title and commencement

Part 1

2 Interpretation

2A Meaning of term new organism

3 Act to bind the Crown

Part 2
Purpose of Act

4 Purpose of Act

5 Principles relevant to purpose of Act

6 Matters relevant to purpose of Act

7 Precautionary approach

8 Treaty of Waitangi

9 Methodology to be used

Part 3
Powers, functions, and duties

10 Powers, functions, and duties of Minister

11 Powers, functions, and duties of Authority

12 Powers, functions, and duties of enforcement officers

13 General duty

Part 4
Administrative provisions

14 Establishment of Authority [Repealed]

15 Membership of Authority [Repealed]

16 Eligibility for appointment as member of Authority [Repealed]

17 Restriction on Ministerial direction

18 EPA may appoint committees

18A Committee may appoint and delegate functions to subcommittee

18B Composition of subcommittee

18C Qualification for appointment to committee or subcommittee

19 Delegation by Authority

20 Obligation to prepare and maintain register

20A Register of exposure limits for substances with toxic or ecotoxic properties

21 Charges

22 Payments in advance

23 Fees for local authorities

24 Power to request information

Part 4A
Nga Kaihautu Tikanga Taiao


24A Establishment of Nga Kaihautu Tikanga Taiao [Repealed]

24B Function of Nga Kaihautu Tikanga Taiao [Repealed]

24C Appointment and remuneration of members and chair [Repealed]

24D Review of terms of reference [Repealed]

Part 5
Assessment of hazardous substances and new organisms

Prohibition of import, etc, and types of approval

25AA This Part subject to Part 5A [Repealed]

25 Restriction of import, manufacture, development, field testing, or release

25A Prohibition of import, manufacture, or use of persistent organic pollutants

25B Prohibition on storage of persistent organic pollutants

25C Continuation of certain exemptions under Toxic Substances Regulations 1983

25D Use of persistent organic pollutants imported or manufactured before commencement of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Stockholm Convention) Amendment Act 2003

26 Determination of new organism or hazardous substance

27 Types of approval

27A Approvals at any taxonomic classification

Approvals for hazardous substances

28 Application for approval to import or manufacture hazardous substances

28A Rapid assessment for importation or manufacture of hazardous substances

29 Determination of applications

29A Approvals for innovative agricultural compounds and medicines [Repealed]

29B Applications relating to persistent organic pollutants

Containment approvals for hazardous substances

30 Importing hazardous substances in containment

31 Application for hazardous substance containment approval

32 Decision on application

33 Exemptions from Act for small-scale research on hazardous substances

Assessment of new organisms for importation or release

34 Application for approval to import or release

34A Applications for conditional release and for release in respect of same new organism

35 Rapid assessment of risk for importation of new organisms

36 Minimum standards

37 Additional matters to be considered

38 Determination of applications to import or release

Conditional release of new organisms

38A Application for approval to import or release new organism with controls

38B Application under section 34 may be treated as application under section 38A

38BA Rapid assessment of risk for importation or release of new organisms with controls

38C Determination of applications to import or release new organisms with controls

38D Controls

38E Duration of conditional release approval

38F Consequences of expiry of conditional release approval

38G Review of controls on conditional release approval

38H Restriction on release of new organism subject to conditional release approval

Release of qualifying organisms

38I Assessment of applications for release of qualifying organisms

38J Procedure for assessing and approving application by responsible chief executive

38K Controls

38L Review of controls for qualifying organisms

Containment approval for new organisms

39 Importation or development of new organisms in containment

40 Application for containment approval for new organisms

41 Assessment of adverse effects of developing genetically modified organisms

42 Rapid assessment of adverse effects for development of genetically modified organisms

42A Rapid assessment of projects for low-risk genetic modification

42B Rapid assessment of adverse effects for importation of genetically modified organisms into containment

42C Rapid assessment of adverse effects for development in containment, etc, of certain new organisms

43 Additional matters to be considered when application made for developing new organisms in containment

44 Additional matters to be considered on applications for importing and field testing of organisms

44A Additional matters to be considered for certain developments and field tests

45 Determination of application

45A Controls required for certain developments and for all field tests

45B Animals in circus or zoological garden deemed approved under section 255

Use of hazardous substances and new organisms in emergencies

46 Meaning of emergency

47 Application for approval to use a hazardous substance or new organism in an emergency

48 Determination of applications

49 Exemptions from provisions of Act in emergencies

Rapid assessment and approval of agricultural compounds and medicines in special emergencies

49A Interpretation

49B Declaration of special emergency

49C Application of sections 49D to 49K

49D Application for approval to use agricultural compound or medicine in special emergency

49E Contents of application

49F Determination of applications

49G Controls attaching to approval of application

49H Notification or publication of approval of application

49I Effect of approval of release

49J Duration of approval

49K Consequences of expiry of approval

Rapid assessment and approval of other hazardous substances in special emergencies

49L Rapid assessment and approval of other hazardous substances in special emergencies

Prohibited list organisms

50 Prohibited organisms


51 Transhipment of substances and organisms

Procedure for assessment

52 Applicant may be required to provide further information

53 Applications required to be publicly notified

53A Method of public notification

54 Submission on application

55 Information held on behalf of applicant

56 Consideration of information withheld under Official Information Act 1982

57 Authority to withhold information

58 Further information

59 Time limits and waivers

60 Obligation to hold hearing

61 Provisions relating to hearings

62 Grounds for reassessment of a substance or organism

63 Reassessment

63A Modified reassessment procedure for amendments to approvals of hazardous substances

63B Proposal for group standard may be consulted on in same way as reassessment

64 Suspension of approvals during reassessment

65 No compensation following reassessment

66 Requirement for disposing of substances

66A Disposal of persistent organic pollutants

67 Authority to direct disposal of new organisms

67A Minor or technical amendments to approvals

Minister's call-in powers

68 Minister's power to call in applications with significant effects

69 Notification of Minister's direction

70 Minister may appoint persons

71 Conduct of inquiry by Authority

72 Authority to report to Minister

73 Minister to decide application and notify decision

Part 5A
Restrictions on approving certain applications


73A Interpretation [Repealed]

73B Application [Repealed]

73C Authority must not consider or approve certain applications during restricted period [Repealed]

73D Additional information required for certain applications [Repealed]

73E Additional matters Authority must consider for certain applications [Repealed]

73F No compensation [Repealed]

73G Expiry [Repealed]

Part 6

Hazard classification system

74 Establishment of hazard classification system

75 Regulations prescribing hazard classification control

76 Requirements for containers, identification, disposal, emergencies, tracking, and fireworks

77 Controls on hazardous substances

77A Authority's power to impose controls and vary specified controls

77B Exposure limits for substances with toxic or ecotoxic properties

78 Codes of practice

79 Codes may be approved by Authority

80 Availability of codes

81 Proof of code

Test certifiers

82 Issue of test certificates by test certifiers

82A Register of test certificates

82B Delegation by approved person

82C Revocation of test certificates

83 Applications for approval as test certifier

84 Processing applications for approval as test certifier

85 Register of test certifiers

86 Complaints to Authority

Transferable permits

87 Establishment of transferable permit scheme

88 Authority to recommend establishment

89 Transferable permit scheme and variation of controls

90 Transfer of permits

91 Contents of transferable permits

92 Modification of permits

93 Registration of scheme

94 Transferable permit not to be mortgaged

95 Prohibition on import or manufacture until transferable permit obtained

Permissions and licences

95A Permissions

95B Licences

Environmental user charges

96 Report on environmental user charges

Part 6A
Group standards

96A Purpose of Part

96B Group standards

96C When group standards may be issued or amended

96D Revocation of group standards

96E Effect of group standards

96F Hazardous substances in group standards if Parts 11 to 15 apply

Part 7
Inspection, enforcement, and ancillary powers


97 Enforcement of Act

97A Enforcement of Act in respect of new organisms

97B Enforcement of Act in respect of hazardous substances in place of work

98 Co-ordination of inspection

98A Chief executives of Ministry and Authority to have functions, powers, duties, and protections of enforcement officers

99 Supervision of inspection

100 Appointment of enforcement officers

101 Duty of territorial authorities

102 Building Act 2004

103 Powers of entry for inspection

Compliance orders

104 Scope of compliance order

105 Compliance with compliance order

106 Form and content of compliance order

107 Service of compliance order

108 Cancellation of compliance order


109 Offences

109A Time for filing charging document

109B Extension of time for filing charging document

110 Infringement offences

111 Commission of infringement offence

112 Infringement notices

113 Entitlement to infringement fees

114 Penalties

115 Liability of employers and principals

116 Liability of directors and officers of bodies corporate

117 Strict liability and defences

118 Fines to be paid to territorial authority instituting prosecution

119 Search warrants

120 Dealing with property seized by enforcement officers [Repealed]

121 Application of Customs and Excise Act 1996 to hazardous substance imported in breach of this Act

122 Power to require hazardous substance to leave New Zealand

123 Declaration that organism not genetically modified

124 Responsibilities of carrier and person in charge of any craft

Part 7A
Pecuniary penalties and civil liability for breaches relating to new organisms

124A Interpretation

Pecuniary penalties

124B Pecuniary penalty order

124C Amount of pecuniary penalty

124D Other orders instead of or in addition to pecuniary penalty order

124E Standard of proof and procedural matters

124F Relationship between concurrent proceedings for pecuniary penalty and criminal proceedings

Civil liability for acts and omissions while in breach

124G Civil liability

124H Defences to liability under section 124G

Liability for acts and omissions of others

124I Breaches, acts, and omissions by directors, employees, or agents

Part 8

125 Appeals

126 Appeal on question of law

127 Notice of appeal

128 Right to appear and be heard on appeal

129 Parties to appeal before High Court

130 Orders of High Court

131 Additional appeals on points of law

132 Extension of time

133 Date of hearing

134 Appeals to Court of Appeal

Part 9

135 Interpretation

136 Declaration of emergency

137 Emergency powers

138 Compensation for property requisitioned or destroyed

139 Protection of enforcement officers and persons

Part 10
Miscellaneous provisions

140 Regulations

140A Persistent organic pollutants

140B Schedule 1AA may be amended or substituted

141 Procedure for making Orders in Council

141A Incorporation of material by reference

141B Amendment to, or replacement of, material incorporated by reference

141C Proof of material incorporated by reference

141D Material incorporated by reference that ceases to have effect

141E Notice must be provided to committee responsible for examining regulations

141F Requirement to consult on proposal to amend or replace material incorporated by reference

141G Access to material incorporated by reference in regulations

141H Access to material incorporated by reference in group standard, notice of transfer, or code of practice

141I Application of Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 and Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989

142 Relationship to other Acts

142A Exemptions from approval requirements [Expired]

143 Notification of hazardous substances injuries

144 Reporting of incidents

145 Ombudsmen Act 1975 amended [Repealed]

146 Authority to be Crown entity [Repealed]

147 Additional matters to be included in statement of intent

148 Additional reporting requirements

149 Amendments to other Acts

150 Repeals and revocations

Part 11
Transitional provisions—General


151 Interpretation [Expired]

152 Expiry of transitional provisions [Expired]

152A Expiry of transitional provisions in relation to persistent organic pollutants [Expired]

153 Exemption in case of licence application [Expired]

154 Exemptions from regulations and provisions of Parts 11 to 16 [Expired]

155 Applications made under transitional provisions [Expired]

156 Offences against Parts 11 to 16 [Expired]

157 Defences [Expired]

158 Suspension and cancellation of licences [Expired]

159 Continuation of Pesticides Board and Toxic Substances Board [Expired]

160 Regulations relating to transitional provisions [Expired]

160A Notices of transfer relating to transitional matters [Expired]

160B Controls may be imposed for purposes of notice of transfer [Expired]

161 Regulations saved [Expired]

162 Reassessment of substances and organisms [Expired]

Part 12
Transitional provisions—Pesticides


163 Interpretation [Expired]

164 Application of this Part [Expired]

164A Protection of information [Expired]

165 Sale, importation, and use of pesticides [Expired]

166 Labelling [Expired]

167 Advertisements [Expired]

168 Review and revocation of registration [Expired]

169 Transfer of proprietors' rights [Expired]

170 Sale of pesticides in bulk [Expired]

171 Warranties [Expired]

172 Pesticide register [Expired]

173 Regulations relating to all pesticides [Expired]

174 Regulations relating to controlled pesticides [Expired]

175 Interpretation [Expired]

176 Restrictions on use of controlled pesticides [Expired]

177 Qualifications for approved operator licence [Expired]

178 Dealing with applications [Expired]

179 Effect of licences [Expired]

180 Duration of licences [Expired]

181 Variation of terms and conditions of licences [Expired]

182 Register of approved operators [Expired]

Part 13
Transitional provisions—Toxic substances


183 Interpretation [Expired]

184 Application of this Part [Expired]

184A Protection of information [Expired]

185 Restrictions on sales of deadly poisons and dangerous poisons [Expired]

186 Sale and packing of poisons [Expired]

187 Further restrictions on sale of poisons [Expired]

188 Containers [Expired]

189 Custody of poisons and harmful substances [Expired]

190 Storage of poisons and harmful substances [Expired]

191 Packing of poisons and harmful substances [Expired]

192 Restriction on possession and use of deadly poisons and dangerous poisons [Expired]

193 Control of advertisements [Expired]

194 Disposal of surplus poisons to other user or licensee [Expired]

195 Exemptions for pharmacists [Expired]

196 Exemptions for veterinarians [Expired]

197 Exemptions for certain other persons [Expired]

198 Exemptions for agents and employees [Expired]

199 Applications for licences [Expired]

200 Dealing with applications [Expired]

201 Effect of licences [Expired]

202 Duration of licences [Expired]

203 Records of sales [Expired]

204 Register [Expired]

205 Interpretation [Expired]

206 Packing of imported toxic substances [Expired]

207 Notice to be given of imported toxic substances [Expired]

208 Application of toxic substances regulations [Expired]

Part 14
Transitional provisions—Dangerous goods


209 Interpretation [Expired]

210 Application of this Part [Expired]

211 Restrictions on storage and use of dangerous goods [Expired]

212 Restrictions on containers [Expired]

213 Containers of dangerous goods to be specially marked [Expired]

214 Pumps for reselling dangerous goods [Expired]

215 Restrictions on use of gases in balloons [Expired]

216 Phosphorus matches [Expired]

217 Licensing of premises for storage of dangerous goods [Expired]

218 Provisional licences [Expired]

219 General provisions as to licences [Expired]

220 Renewal of licences [Expired]

221 Continuing application of dangerous goods regulations [Expired]

Part 15
Transitional provisions—Explosives


222 Interpretation [Expired]

223 Classification of explosives [Expired]

224 Application of this Part [Expired]

225 Importation of explosives [Expired]

226 Permit for importation of fireworks [Expired]

227 Licence to manufacture explosives [Expired]

228 Factory not to be altered without consent of Authority [Expired]

229 Fireworks not to be sold to persons under 14 years of age [Expired]

230 Application of following sections [Expired]

231 Explosives not to be sold without licence [Expired]

232 Restriction on sale of fireworks [Expired]

233 Sale of explosives [Expired]

234 Storage of explosives [Expired]

235 Certain explosives not to be carried without consent of Authority [Expired]

236 Licence required to carry certain explosives [Expired]

237 Carriage of explosives in vehicles or vessels carrying passengers [Expired]

238 Firework displays [Expired]

239 Private storage [Expired]

240 Conditions of licence [Expired]

241 Public magazines [Expired]

242 Private magazines [Expired]

243 Private magazine not to be altered without consent [Expired]

244 Danger buildings [Expired]

245 Notices on danger buildings [Expired]

246 Repairs or alterations to danger buildings [Expired]

247 Protective clothing, etc [Expired]

248 Employment of young persons in danger buildings [Expired]

249 Packing and marking of explosives [Expired]

250 Handling of explosives [Expired]

251 Abandonment or disposal of explosives [Expired]

252 Damaged, defective, or unsafe explosives [Expired]

253 Continuation of regulations [Expired]

Part 16
Transitional provisions—New organisms



254 Animals [Expired]

255 Zoological gardens [Expired]

256 Hamsters [Expired]

257 Approvals for genetically modified organisms [Expired]


258 Import permits [Expired]

259 Micro-organisms lawfully in use [Expired]

Schedule 1AA
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

Schedule 1
Provisions relating to Environmental Risk Management Authority


Schedule 2
Prohibited new organisms

Schedule 2A
Persistent organic pollutants

Schedule 3

Schedule 4
Enactments amended

Schedule 5
Enactments repealed

Schedule 6
Regulations and orders revoked

Schedule 7
List of substances relevant to transitional provisions


Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Act 2002

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Approvals and Enforcement) Amendment Act 2005

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Act 2010

Reprint notes

An Act to restate and reform the law relating to the management of hazardous substances and new organisms