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#19-10 Contractor health and safety expectations

Published: | Category: Technical advice note | Audiences: Road traffic engineers & consultants, Roading contractors

This notice advises contractors and contract managers that the health and safety expectations for NZ Transport Agency works have changed.  The new expectations will come into effect from 1 October 2019 and should be applied to all contract works.

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: 23 July 2019
  • Reference: 19-10
  • Version: 2
  • Contact:


This notice advises contractors and contract managers that the health and safety expectations for NZ Transport Agency works have changed.  The new expectations will come into effect from 1 October 2019 and should be applied to all contract works.

As part of its 2018-19 Health and Safety Programme, NZTA has reviewed the way it approaches health and safety management with its contractors. Having a robust contractor management framework helps the Transport Agency address our duties and, importantly helps us lead the civil construction industry in establishing a frame work of clear expectations for our contractors so we can all work together to prevent harm in our workplaces or worksites.

The health and safety expectations have been developed in conjunction with our main civil construction sector partners and are reflective of contemporary good practice contractor management models, based around the specific requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 2015.

Our approach to contractor health and safety management has also enabled us to better understand how we undertake oversight and monitoring of activities and how we act on insights from our monthly performance reports. This has resulted in the development of assessment tools and reporting frameworks that are reflective of the good practice material detailed within the expectations document.

We are rolling the expectation out across all our civil construction and maintenance projects in a two-stage approach. From 1 July 2019, NZTA will set a ‘soft’ requirement that construction and maintenance activities will be undertaken in accordance with the revised Expectations model. Our project managers will be seeking, through site visits and other interactions, to understand how management plans and work practices have been changed to reflect requirements of our health and safety expectations.

From 1 October 2019, NZTA will introduce a clear requirement for all activities to be undertaken in way that is reflective of the revised expectations. To support this implementation, our project managers and Health and Safety Advisors will be undertaking more detailed project and contract audits over the following months.

The specification is now available online at


The purpose is to establish a framework of health and safety expectations for our contractors, provide clear guidance on what NZTA needs to see from our contractors, provide a summary of what industry says, ‘safe looks like’ and provide a benchmark for measuring health and safety performance. 

This ensures a common approach to health and safety risk management and preventing harm across NZTA workplaces.

General information

As a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) the Transport Agency has a duty to ensure the health and safety of all its contractors so far as reasonably practicable.

Industry Good Practice identifies that a lead PCBU, doesn’t often control a workplace but significantly influences the health and safety practices and behaviours of downstream contractors working for them. Furthermore, as a major influencer in the construction industry we have an obligation to lead the way in keeping workers safe.

The NZTA Contractor Health and Safety Expectations document forms part of a wider contractor management process currently being developed that is designed to:

  • Identify NZTA’s role in managing health and safety in the contractor space
  • Help us engage competent (in health and safety) contractors,
  • Ensure we are identifying and articulating specific project-based health and safety risks as part tender and award process
  • Ensure robust and effective health and safety risk management procedures are actively in place
  • Set expectations around key health and safety management procedures required throughout the life of the project
  • Provide a view of what safe looks like (based on current industry good practice)
  • Create a framework for contracted partners to apply their own risk management processes, systems and capabilities and
  • Lay the platform for ongoing health and safety consultation, cooperation and coordination across our contractors

In addition, the NZTA Contractor Health and Safety Expectations document ensures we:

  • meet the requirements of Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 2015 and follow industry good practice
  • provide clarity on roles and responsibilities for information sharing, management of risks, performance monitoring and reporting and management of non-compliance; and
  • provide a clear framework for the management of sub-contractors engaged by the Transport Agency’s primary contractors.

The NZTA Contractor Health and Safety Expectations will replace ‘Z5 - Minimum Standards’ document.

Publication details

Author: New Zealand Transport Agency
Published: July 2019
Version: 2
Found at:

Further information

To submit documents or if you have any questions or feedback, please contact the NZTA Principal Health and Safety at Work Advisor, Greg Tetzlaff at


David Darwin                 Sarah Cronwright