Asbestos Reporting for Commercial Properties for NZ

November 22, 2022

Sebastian Tiller

Asbestos reporting for commercial properties for NZ is important for ensuring that commercial buildings are kept as asbestos free as possible. 

New Zealand’s first asbestos factory was established in 1943, and the importing and exporting of asbestos wasn’t banned until 2016. That means there is a likelihood the majority of commercial properties are likely to contain asbestos, which is why asbestos reporting for commercial properties is so important.

Examples of commercial properties include;

  • Hospitality buildings (i.e. cafes, kitchens, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels, etc.)
  • Shopping centres, supermarkets, office buildings
  • Local Government buildings (i.e. childcare facilities, public toilets, libraries, sporting facilities, etc.)
  • State Government buildings (i.e. schools, prisons, police stations, train stations etc.)
  • Federal Government buildings (i.e. courts, defence buildings, department buildings, etc.)
  • Agricultural buildings (i.e. farms, abattoirs, wineries, etc.)
  • Health care facilities (i.e. chemists/pharmacies, hospitals, aged care, vet clinics, etc.)
  • Transport buildings (i.e. airports, car parks, garages, public transport stations, etc.)
  • Recreational facilities (i.e. museums, cinemas, gyms, parks, etc.)
  • School buildings
  • Industrial buildings (i.e. distribution centres, factories, utilities, warehouses, etc.)
  • Home offices and places of religious worship

What is asbestos reporting for a commercial property in NZ?

Creating an asbestos register and keeping it up to date are both necessary to ensure a building's asbestos compliance. Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are listed on the register along with other required information such as;

  • Whether the ACM was fixed or installed
  • Whether the area it was located in is accessible and/or likely to be damaged
  • How frequent that area is accessed
  • The likelihood that the ACM will be disturbed
  • Whether or not the ACM has been tested by a tester from the International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ)
  • The date when the ACM was tested 
  • The results of the testing

Asbestos reporting is when the data in asbestos registers is collected and compiled into reports that are then distributed amongst important people, such as employees and asbestos auditors, that each play a role in the property’s asbestos management plan. Reports must be kept up-to-date to ensure that the property’s asbestos management is effective.

Whose responsibility is it to conduct asbestos reporting for a commercial property for NZ?

The New Zealand Government introduced the Health and Safety Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 in order to address the presence of asbestos in commercial buildings and ensure the safety of people in those buildings.

When it comes to the reporting of asbestos in commercial buildings in NZ, the duty of care falls on the landlord, who is considered the primary person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU). The landlord is responsible for the creation of asbestos reports, ensuring that they have all of the necessary information and sending the completed reports to all necessary parties. 

There are other PCBUs that can help with asbestos management; such as property managers, building contractors and tenants, but the landlord ultimately has full legal responsibility and cannot be contracted out of these obligations.

What other asbestos-related responsibilities would I have as the owner of a commercial property?

In addition to the reporting of asbestos, the responsibilities of the landlord include the effective control, management and removal of asbestos in their building to ensure that all work complies with regulations.

This includes the creation of an asbestos management plan, which must contain the following information;

  • Where the ACM is situated.
  • The state of repair of the ACM.
  • The risks (for example, that exposure to respirable asbestos fibres is likely to occur when drilling or cutting into ACM).
  • How the risk arising from ACM in the workplace is managed.
  • How the workplace can ensure the ACM remains safe from airborne exposure until it is removed by licensed experts.
  • The procedure for detailing incidents or emergencies involving asbestos.
  • Clear statements about who can do structural/repair work on the building, the information and training they will be provided with and how workers’ health will be monitored.

Where can I go for more information on asbestos reporting in NZ?

To find more information on asbestos reporting in NZ, as well as asbestos in general, you can access the following websites:

How can Octfolio help me with asbestos reporting for a commercial property in NZ?

Octfolio is a complete asbestos management software solution that has all of the features you need to conduct asbestos reporting in your commercial building. This includes comprehensive asbestos registers, as well as the easy creation and distribution of asbestos reports.  

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Sebastian Tiller

Seb has a long history of delivering elegant solutions to complex business problems that conform to the most exacting compliance standards. He prides himself on his ability to connect with customers and humanise software solutions to be understandable and useful to all parties. He’s also enjoys playing story-based single player games and spending time with his young family, building LEGO, attending recitals, and experiencing new restaurants with his wife.

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