Skip to main content
Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



The New Zealand Standards Institute

The New Zealand Standards Institute is responsible in this country for the work of standardisation. It was originally established as a voluntary body at the instigation of the British Standards Institution in 1932. Since 1936 the Institute has been a Government organisation responsible to the Minister of Industries and Commerce. Administrative, secretarial, and clerical services are given by officers of the Standards Division of the Department of Industries and Commerce.

The authority, functions, and procedure of the Institute are defined in the Standards Act of 1941, which provides for a Standards Council, appointed by the Minister, to direct the activities of the Institute. It consists of representatives of State Departments, local bodies, manufacturing, farming, and commercial interests, distributive trades, trade unions, and consumer and women's organisations. It makes recommendations to the Minister about the formulation, promulgation, and application of standard specifications, the promotion of research, the registration and use of standard marks, and related matters. The, Council can also help State Departments, local authorities, and other public bodies to prepare specifications. Moreover, the Standards Act provides for the registration of standard marks as certification trademarks under the Patents Act and for the use of such standard marks under licence in connection with commodities, processes, or practices which conform to standard specifications.

The Standards Act, therefore, makes the development of standards of quality as much a function of the Government as the establishment of standards of weight and measure under the Weights and Measures Act. The various units of the latter are defined by law and it is an offence to claim that products conform to such standards when they do not do so. And in the same way the Standards Act allows standards of quality to be set up and honestly practised and maintained.