Health and safety reform

Handyman wearing tool belt

The new Health and Safety at Work Act comes into force on 4 April 2016. Find out what's changing and how it might affect you.

The proposed new legislation is aimed at reducing New Zealand's workplace injury and death toll by 25 per cent by 2020. The Act's key emphasis is on everyone in the workplace being responsible for health and safety.

The changes will place increased workplace safety responsibilities on landlords, owners, property and body corporate managers.

What does it mean for landlords?

Under the new Act, landlords will become PCBUs (a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) and as such, will have a primary duty of care that includes the safety of all persons on site.

Landlords will be required to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that a workplace and the means of entering and exiting a workplace, and anything arising from the workplace are 'without risks to the health and safety of any person'.


Changes in the Health & Safety Legislation will also have an impact on the contractors you use to maintain your investment properties. The proposed changes mean:

  • Contractors will need to be certified for their particular profession. Plumbing, gas fitting, electrical, building, etc
  • It will be the contractor's responsibility to remain compliant by maintaining their licence annually. However, it will be the the owner's responsibility to ensure that they only engage a contractor with a valid licence
  • The contractors will need to have suitable indemnity insurance
  • Failure to contract suitable and licensed tradespeople becomes the owner's responsibility and they may be liable if they fail to meet the new standards.

How we ensure these standards are met

Property owners need be aware of their obligations. Your Barfoot & Thompson property manager will take steps to have the necessary contracts with tradespeople in place, and up-to-date, to ensure that our clients and tenants are never exposed to loss, damage or injury.

Your property manager will be pleased to discuss the matter further if you have any questions.

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Misplaced your property manager's details? You can search for your property manager on this page by name or by branch.