HAIL Investigations, contaminated land and waste management

NZ Environmental Management are highly experienced in conducting Preliminary Site Investigations (PSI) and Detailed Site Investigations (DSI) and completing Remediation Action Plans (RAP) and Site Validation Reports (SVR) on a range of historic land uses including orchards, market gardens, transport depots, and timber storage yards.

The National Environmental Standards (NES) for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health took effect in January 2012. The NES are mandatory standards which function under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The focus of the NES is to protect human health. Contaminants pose a greater risk where they are near buildings and people, and when they are in soil in which food is grown.

Under the NESCS, land is considered to be actually or potentially contaminated if an activity or industry on the Hazardous Activities or Industries List (HAIL) was, is, or is more than likely to have been, undertaken on that land.

Common HAIL activities and industries leading to contamination of properties in New Zealand include, among others:

  • the manufacture and use of pesticides;
  • the production, storage and use of petroleum (fuel) products;
  • timber treatment; and
  • sheep dipping.


The contaminants in soil left by these activities and industries may include pesticides (such as DDT, DDD, and dieldrin), metals (such as arsenic, chromium, copper, lead and mercury) and hydrocarbon compounds (derived from petroleum and plastics).

The NES takes into account the former, current and proposed land use and the resulting potential for contaminants. An initial NES assessment or Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) on HAIL land may be required to be undertaken if you intend to do one of five activities:

  • Removing or replacing a fuel storage system,
  • Sampling the soil,
  • Disturbing the soil,
  • Subdividing land, or
  • Changing the use of the land.

The NESCS requires that a ‘suitably qualified and experienced practitioner’ certify preliminary and, if required, any follow-up investigation (Detailed Site Investigation) reports. This person is independent, applies good professional practice, and reports against contaminated land and industry guidelines.

Our dedicated team are highly experienced and here to help you navigate your HAIL, contaminated land or waste management journey.

Starting a new project?

If you’re starting a new project and would like to see how we can help, give us a call today.