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Home and Building, Volume 37 Number 6 (1975)

Collaboration

Collaboration

At the morning session on the second day of the NAFTA Conference, held 22-24 September 1975 in Christchurch, Mr G.H. Edwards, Director of the Standards Association of New Zealand and Mr J.R. Paton, Technical Director of the Standards Association of Australia presented a joint paper to an audience of some 60 manufacturers from both sides of the Tasman. This led to a discussion on technical problems of the present export/import situation, and ways of mitigating them.

Amongst products under particular discussion were whitegoods, (refrigerators, clothes driers, stoves) and electric cable (wiring and power cables, flexible cords for appliances). Although both countries are substantially metric, it was pointed out that New Zealand and Australian-made metric cables and flexible cords were still not interchangeable. The joint paper pin-pointed a number of areas where alignment of standards would assist both countries — electrical appliances, boilers and pressure vessels, nuts, bolts and other fasteners, timber, steel, freight containers, tractor safety frames. One other area was suggested for priority work — motor vehicle components.

Concern was expressed at the problem of obtaining product approval for exports to Australia; all electrical products must undergo testing, usually in Australia, and delays occurring as a result of this were felt by New Zealand manufacturers to discriminate against them. Mr Paton assured the conference that there was no such discrimination. Mr Edwards observed that the operation of the Testing Laboratory Registration Council (TELARC), the New Zealand equivalent of the National Association of Testing authorities (NATA), should relieve this problem. TELARC is working towards mutual recognition with NATA on completion of the registration of suitable New Zealand laboratories; this is now well in progress.

The principal outcome of the manufacturing/standards session was that a Working Group was to be set up comprising representatives of the two standards associations together with the Associated Chambers of Manufacture of Australia (ACMA) and the New Zealand Manufacturers' Federation. Their task will be to make recommendations on how to improve and expedite the alignment of manufacturing standards.

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