Surface area: 268 676 km2
Population: 3434950


Weights and Measures Act 1987 and Amendments
Regulations made under the weights and Measures Act and issued as Orders-in-Council. The main regulations are the weights and Measures Regulations 1987. There are amendments to these regulations.
The Measurement Standards Act 1992 and the regulations made under this Act specify the New Zealand units of measurement of physical quantities. 

1.1 Legal requirements for traceability

Traceability of measurement in relation to legal metrology is provided by Sections 5, 6, 7 and 7.A of the Weights and Measures Act 1987.


The legal units of measurement in New Zealand are defined in the National Standards Regulations 1976 and are those of the International System (SI) Units.


3.1 National organisation for legal metrology

Trade Measurement Unit
Ministry of Consumer Affairs
PO Box 1473
New Zealand
Telephone: 64 4 474 2750
Facsimile: 64 4 473 9400

The Trade Measurement Unit (TMU) advises the Minister of Consumer Affairs on the technical and legislative requirements for trade measurement in New Zealand.

TMU publishes a series of policy guides in relation to 
TMU also publishes a series of pamphlets to aid trader compliance with the Weights and Measures Act 1 987 and to inform consumers.

3.2 Custodian of National Standards

The custodian of national standards of measurement is the Measurement Standards Laboratory of New Zealand, operated by Industrial Research Limited, a Crown Research Institute.

The Chief Metrologist
Measurement Standards Laboratory
Industrial Research Limited
PO Box 31310
Lower Hutt
New Zealand
Telephone: 64 4 569 0000
Facsimile: 64 4 569 0515

3.3 National organisation responsible for maintaining primary standards

The New Zealand primary standards are held by MSL (see clause 3.2).

3.4 Regional and local verification organisations.

TMU is the regulatory body throughout New Zealand. Offices are located in Auckland,
Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch.

Under amendments to the Weight and Measures Act 1987, TMU certifies private organisations (accredited persons) to verify and certify measuring instruments used for trade.

3.5 Instrument calibration and evaluation systems.

TMU maintains a testing laboratory for pattern approval testing of trade measuring instruments.
The Testing Laboratory Registration Council (TELARC) comprises approximately 400 laboratories (30 of which are calibration Iaboratories) throughout New Zealand distributed over industry and other administrations. The certificates they issue have an official character.

Testing Laboratory Registration Council of New Zealand
PO Box 28 901 
New Zealand 
Telephone: 64 9 525 0100 
Facsimile: 64 9 525 1900 


Measuring instruments used for trade 111ust have pattern approval before they can be installed and verified. Automatic weighing machines and automatic volumetric liquid dispensing machines are exempted from pattern approval and verification requirements.
Electricity, gas, water and taxi meter legislation is administered by other government or local authority agencies.


5.l Legal and technical requirements for type approval

Pattern approval of measurment instruments follows, as far as possible, 0IML international recommendations. The Weights and Measures Regulations 1987 are based on 0IML international recommendations. 
Once the pattern of an instrument has been approved a Certificate of Approval is issued. The certificate number must be marked on each instrument submitted for verification as an indication to the verification personnel that the instrument has pattern approval. 

5.2 Authority responsible for issuing type approval

Trade Measurement Unit. 

5.3 Recognition/acceptance of OIML certificates

The Weights and Measures Regulations 1987 provide acceptance of any Certificate of Approval issued by a full member of OIML. That approval must be issued in accordance with an OIML international recommendation. 

5.4 Authority responsible for testing for type approval

Trade Measurement Unit. 

5.5 List of major test facilities available

The test facilities are used to test trade measuring instruments to OIML international recommendations. They are:

5.6 Fee Structure

Fees for Applications for Approval of Types of weights, Measures, and weighing of Measuring Instruments 
Fee NZ$
(Incl GST)
1. weights, measures of volume, and measures off length, each
$ 549.00
2. Class 111 or Class 1111 weighing instruments not having digital indication and with a capacity of not more than 1 tonne, for each instrument.
3. Class 111 or Class 1111 weighing instruments having digital indication and with a capacity of not more than 1 tonne, for each instrument 
4. Class 1 or Class 11 weighing instruments with a capacity of not more than 1 tonne, for each instrument 
5. weighing instruments with a capacity exceeding 1 tonne, for each instrument 
6. Belt weighers, each 
7. Length or area measuring instruments, for each instrument 
8. Liquid measuring instruments, for each instrument 
9. Milk delivery measures, beer delivery measures, and other bulk volume measures, for each measure 
10. Weights, measures, and weighing or measuring instruments where the weight, measure, or instrument has been approved by a weights and measures authority of a country that is a full member of the International organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML), each 


6.1 Legal and technical requirements for verification and reverification

A measuring instrument can only be used for trade after it has been verified by a weights and Measures Inspector (see clause 7 below).
Reverification (unless the instrument has had its accuracy affected or been rejected as incorrect) is not provided under the Weights and Measures Act 1987. Traders are required to maintain the accuracy of measuring instruments they use for trade. They can have the measuring instrument tested at least once a year by a TMU officer or accredited person. If the instrument is found to be correct a Certificate of Accuracy is issued. This certificate forms a defence to charge of using an incorrect measuring instrument.
The basic requirements for verification and certification are that the instrument must:
(a) measure in metric units 
(b) be of an approved pattern and 
(c) operate within the maximum permissible errors set out in the Weights and Measures Regulations 1987. 

6.2 Range of equipment and any statistical information available

The range of equipment subject to verification includes:

No statistical information is kept on the number of instruments verified or certified.

6.3 Fee structure

TMU charges for verification and certification are on an hourly rate of NZ $74.00 plus GST of 12.5 percent. Reimbursable expenses are also charged.
Accredited persons are allowed to charge on a contestable basis.


7.1 Accreditation systems for legal metrology, calibration and testing laboratories.Traceability to national, regional, international or foreign measurement standards.

In 1991 an amendment to the weights and Measures Act 1987 provided for private organisations (accredited persons) to carry out verification of measuring instruments used for trade. These accredited persons (AP's) are permitted to issue Certificates of Accuracy in relation to verified measuring instruments already in use for trade and found on testing to be correct. The Certificate of Accuracy is valid for one year.
To become an accredited person and operate under the weights and Measures legislation, the business (both a company or person working as a sole operator), must operate a Quality Management System which has been developed specifically for legal metrology in New Zealand. The elements of that system are stated in the weights and Measures Regulations 1987, Amendment No 4. These elements are those contained in ISO 9000 series with modification and considered appropriate for legal metrology.

An application for TMV accreditation (certification) can be audited by:
TMU and,
certification bodies accredited i.e.
The weights and Measures legislation also allows any other body or organisation that satisfies the Secretary of Commerce that it is competent to assess quality management systems.

Traceability of national measurement standards to the New Zealand Primary Standard is achieved in both legal metrology and in scientific/industrial metrology.

New Zealand Primary Standards
Departmental Standards 
District Standards 
Inspectors' working Standards (held by each TMU Officer) 
(Held by MSL) 
(Held by TMU) 
(Held in each TMU Office) 
AP's working Standards (held by each AP) 
New Zealand Primary Standards 
Reference Standards 
working Standards 
(Held by MSL) 
(TELARC Registered Laboratories) 
(Industry & Commerce) 

7.2 Legal and applied metrological activities in products certification

Product Certification (Standards New Zealand's 'S' mark program) is provided by Standards New Zealand. Only when a product meets ISO Guide Type 5 will the product be given recognition. 

7.3 Legal and Applied Metrological Activities in ISO 9000 Quality Management System

New Zealand has adopted the ISO 9000 series of standards in their entirety as the New Zealand Standards (NZ 9000) for businesses wishing to meet standards of quality in New Zealand. They are published as NZS 9000 by Standards New Zealand.

Quality certification to ISO 9000 is provided by private organisations which may or may not be accredited by the Joint Accreditation Scheme for Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) A number of certification companies have JAS-ANZ accreditation. 


8.1 Numbers

TMV employs 11 officers, two senior ad visors in Head Office and nine field staff throughout the country.

There are currently 35 organisations accredited to carry out verification and certification of measuring instruments used for trade. The 35 accredited persons have 200 authorised personnel carrying out verifications and certifications of all classes of measuring instruments throughout the country. 

8.2 Qualification/training

weights and Measures Trainee Inspectors are required to pass examinations on aspects of legal metrology before they can be appointed weights and Measures Inspectors.
The requirements for accredited persons are stated in clause 7.1 above. 

8.3 Training organisations and courses organised

TMU operates a Criterion Reference Instruction (CRI) course on aspects of legal metrology. 

8.4 Range of functions

The CRI course is modular based containing the following elements:


9.1 Legislative control for packaging

The Weights and Measures Act 1987 provides requirements in relation to packaged goods.

The Australian Code of Practice on Deceptive packages in packaging endorsed by the Australian standing Committee of Consumer Affairs Ministers (now called Ministerial Committee on Consumer Affairs - MCCAI is used by the New Zealand Commerce Commission, The Commerce Commission is responsible for enforcing the Fair Trading Act 1986 with particular emphasis on misleading or deceptive conduct in packaging, The New Zealand Minister of Consumer Affairs attends MCCA. 

9.2 Organisation responsible

TMU administers the Weights and Measures Act 1987
The Commerce Commission enforces the Fair Trading Act 1 986


(a) A person pretending to be an Inspector or Trainee Inspector is liable to imprisonment for three months or a fine of NZ$10,000.
(b) A person obstructing an inspector or forging/counterfeiting verification stamps or altering measuring instruments without legal cause is liable to a fine of NZ$10,000.
(c)A person is liable to a fine of NZ$5,000 if they: 
(d) A person is liable to be issued with an Infringement Offence Notice (each notice carries a penalty of NZ$500.00) if they

Return to Index Page