Review of NZS8409 (April 2020)

Published 28 April 2020

NZS8409:2004 is a New Zealand Standard for the Management of Agrichemicals.  The change in the regulatory environment relating to hazardous substances in December 2018 has made a review necessary.  NZAET is leading this review. 

Project initiation

The Standards Development Committee was approved by the StandardsNZ board in November and includes representatives from industry, central and local government and agrichemical users.  The first meeting of the Committee took place in December and confirmed scope and set up five Working Groups to look at specific elements of the Standard.  Working Groups include both members of the Standards Development Committee and industry experts in the particular topic.

Development of a preliminary draft

Work is now being undertaken to review the Standard.  Working Groups, regulators, technical experts and NZAET team are reviewing the document to incorporate the requirements of the new regulatory frameworks and to update good practice.  This is a significant piece of work and we are grateful to all those providing input to the process.  This preliminary draft will then be reviewed by the full Standards Development Committee before public consultation is initiated.


Whilst much of the input into the process is on a voluntary basis from interested parties (thank you!), funding is required to meet the project management costs and the cost of the StandardsNZ process.  Contributions have been received from industry groups and NZAET is also contributing.  In addition, we are grateful to Agmardt for contributing to this project.

Scope of NZS8409

The first step in the review was to establish the scope of the new document.  Four possible additional areas to cover in the Standard were considered:
  • Fumigants - used by the logging industry and in horticulture for soil sterilisation as well for import/export.  Fumigants will not be included in the new Standard
  • VTAs (Vertebrate Toxic Agents) - VTAs are not within the scope of the new Standard
  • Dairy detergents and sanitisers - the management of detergents and sanitisers will be included in the revised standard, partly to reflect the increased use in horticulture and agriculture to control the spread of disease between properties
  • Domestic use - it has been confirmed that domestic use is outside the scope of the standard as the regulatory framework for non-workplaces is very different to workplaces.  However, the standard will remain a good source of information on good practice for all users of agrichemicals.

Want to be involved?

Industry representatives will be seeking views from others in their industry as part of the development process.  There will also be a full public consultation on the final draft.  If you are keen to be involved, please email to be on the circulation list for communication.