15 Nov 2013

New workplace health and safety laws passed

8:47 am on 15 November 2013

Legislation fixing systemic failures revealed after the Pike River Mine disaster has unanimiously passed its third and final reading in Parliament.

The bill implements sweeping changes recommended by the Pike River Royal Commission, which investigated the deaths of 29 men in explosions at the West Coast mine in November 2010.

At the centre of the bill is Worksafe New Zealand, a new stand-alone Crown agency that from 16 December will take over workplace health and safety functions from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The legislation bill also paves the way for new mining health and safety regulations and expands the Mines Rescue Service.

Labour Minister Simon Bridges told Parliament the changes were the biggest to the workplace health and safety system, and mining, in a generation.