Workplace exposures

WorkSafe New Zealand has responsibility for workplace exposures.

ACC is also involved in handling workplace dioxin exposure.

Contaminated places

Investigations into the contamination from a plant or waste disposal practices are the responsibility of regional councils, unitary authorities, and the Ministry for the Environment.(MFE)

The MFE's organochlorines programme started in 1995 to:

  • assess the risks persistent organochlorines pose in New Zealand
  • develop risk-based environmental acceptance criteria for discharges to air, soil and water and for the clean-up of contaminated sites.

The MFE has published some research reports, including:

  • sources of dioxins in New Zealand (the dioxin inventory)
  • levels of organochlorines in our atmosphere, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (soil and estuarine sediments)
  • the levels of dioxins in our food
  • evaluation of the toxicity of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs
  • concentrations of selected organochlorines in the serum of the non-occupationally exposed New Zealand population.

In 2004 the Ministry for the Environment ratified the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants which includes dioxins. The Convention took effect for New Zealand from 23 December 2004. Details are available on the Ministry’s website.

Vietnam veterans

In 2006 the Government agreed a package of measures to address the health and wellbeing needs of Veterans and, where appropriate, their immediate families. See details at Veterans Affairs' NZ.