This policy outlines WorkSafe's approach to sponsorship requests and provides information to anyone wanting us to consider entering into a sponsorship agreement.


Sponsorship policy (PDF 66 KB)


Sponsorship[1] usually involves a combination of financial investment and/or use of corporate branding in exchange for an agreed package of benefits. WorkSafe is frequently approached by external parties[2] seeking sponsorship, for example of conferences, training workshops or other events.[3]

Sponsorship can be an effective tool for promoting WorkSafe’s brand. It can help to extend or strengthen our reach to target groups, to communicate information and potentially influence attitudinal and behavioural change that might advance our organisational priorities.

For sponsorship to be effective, WorkSafe must invest additional resources – usually equal to at least the value of the sponsorship itself – typically including staff time and effort, and often additional costs such as development of presentations, travel, accommodation, display materials, print collateral, social media activity etc.

Our sponsorship decisions must be carefully considered:

  • to prioritise such investment wisely,
  • to target sponsorship to where WorkSafe can leverage worthwhile value, and
  • to manage our brand.


The purpose of this Policy is to:

  • clarify our definition of ‘Sponsorship’ and what is in and out of scope of the Policy, and
  • outline the decision-making principles for sponsorship requests.

WorkSafe staff should read this Policy in conjunction with the related Sponsorship Guidelines document.


In scope

  • investment of funding, resources and/or the use of WorkSafe’s brand to sponsor/endorse events or activities led by external parties, including but not limited to: events, conferences, workshops, seminars, webinars, lecture series, awards programmes, public awareness campaigns, international visitors, visiting speakers and publications.

Out of scope

Examples include:

  • funding to support strategic partnerships that are distinguished by involvement in governance activities, advisory groups, joint committees
  • staff secondments
  • provision of technical and policy advice and support
  • sponsorships of WorkSafe or its staff by external parties (eg scholarships, gifts or gratuities[4]) or business grant programmes
  • WorkSafe-hosted events that form part of the outreach work of WorkSafe groups, teams and projects to connect and communicate with their regular stakeholders
  • WorkSafe endorsement of guidance and education products developed by external parties.[5]

Policy statements

Partnering criteria

WorkSafe will only consider sponsorship agreements with credible external parties that:

  1. are respected by PCBUs and workers in their industry/area of professional expertise
  2. have a corporate track record that is financially and lawfully sound
  3. have skills, experience, distribution networks and/or resources that would add value to sponsorship investment
  4. have a public image with which WorkSafe would be comfortable being associated.

The above are ‘first order’ criteria. If these are not met, no further consideration of sponsorship or benefits criteria will be needed.

Sponsorship benefits criteria

If the partnering criteria are met, WorkSafe will consider sponsoring activities that:

  1. promote and enhance WorkSafe as the lead regulator for health and safety at work in New Zealand
  2. promote WorkSafe’s programmes and initiatives
  3. encourage connections and collaborations that will advance WorkSafe’s priority work programmes and harm reduction outcomes
  4. target WorkSafe’s priority audiences more effectively and/or more economically than other channels or as part of a planned multi-channel approach
  5. raise awareness, educate and/or upskill target audiences on critical work health and safety risks and focus areas for harm reduction, and/or otherwise align with WorkSafe’s work programme
  6. aim make an impact on health and safety at work beyond the event or activity itself
  7. support long-term relationships with WorkSafe’s key stakeholders
  8. do not offer an undue commercial advantage, especially if this is to the direct disadvantage of other comparable organisations within the same market[6]
  9. deliver sufficient, worthwhile benefits to WorkSafe (eg cost of reach and impact) to merit the full cost of sponsorship, including the additional resource investment required to support the financial sponsorship.

WorkSafe may decline sponsorship requests

WorkSafe has complete discretion to decline sponsorships requests.

How WorkSafe will engage with external parties

  • Transparency: WorkSafe will make this Sponsorship Policy publically available.
  • Timeliness: WorkSafe receives many requests for sponsorship/similar support. Timeframes to reach a decision may vary, depending on the nature, source and timing of the request. When requests are received they will be acknowledged within 10 working days and applicant will be regularly updated on the progress of their request.
  • Declining a sponsorship request: WorkSafe is not obligated to agree to sponsor or provide similar support if requested. In many cases, requests for sponsorship/similar support will be declined. When such requests are declined, WorkSafe will be transparent about the decision and advise the applicants in writing of the reasons for the request being declined.



For the purpose of this Policy, ‘sponsorship’ is defined as investment of cash and/or in-kind resources by WorkSafe into activities led by external parties, in exchange for a defined package of benefits which includes but is not limited to promotion of the WorkSafe brand. It must also have the following features:

  • WorkSafe pays for all or some of the associated costs, and/or invests its staff resources, expertise and brand as the work health and safety regulator to support a project, programme, event or initiative led by one or more external parties, stakeholder groups or similar
  • The sponsored activity aligns with and supports one or more of WorkSafe’s core roles - Harm Prevention, Regulatory Effectiveness and System Leadership –and supports outcomes that advance WorkSafe’s priority interests.

External party

The term external party is intended to have a broad meaning. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • government departments and crown entities
  • local government agencies
  • WorkSafe’s social partners (Business New Zealand and the Council of Trade Unions)
  • industry and professional associations
  • commercial event organisers.

Policy ownership

This policy is owned by the General Manager, Strategy & Performance Group as part of broader accountability for key elements of WorkSafe’s brand and channels management.

Relevant documents

Other relevant documents include:

Relevant legislation includes:

Review and publication of this policy

Policy owner: General Manager, Strategy & Performance Group

Policy approved by: WorkSafe Senior Leadership Team

Policy reviewed and approved: 13 August 2018

Next review date: August 2021 by Communications & Channels team

Distribution: This policy will be published on the WorkSafe website and intranet.


For help with this policy, please contact the WorkSafe Communications & Channels team.


[1] - See Definitions section. 

[2] - See Definitions section. 

[3] - We also receive requests to lend our brand to health and safety guidance and education products (for this, see separate Endorsement Policy).

[4] - See WorkSafe Gifts and Hospitality Policy.

[5] - See separate WorkSafe Endorsing Guidance and Education Products Policy.

[6] - For example, some of the commercial conference and training course or workshop organisers who seek to leverage WorkSafe’s involvement to draw an audience.