Since the implementation of the Land Transport Management Act 2003, public sector land transport organisations in New Zealand have had the obligation to be socially and environmentally responsible, either as one of their organisational objectives (NZ Transport Agency) or in terms of the activities and combinations of activities approved for payment from the National Land Transport Fund (regional councils and road controlling authorities), While most organisations had a strong sense of what was meant by environmental responsibility, less was known about what was required to be socially responsible.
In November 2010, after five years of extensive work involving 99 member countries and approximately 450 experts, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Guidance on social responsibility (ISO 26000) was published. The ISO 26000 is intended to guide organisations to translate the concept of social responsibility into action. However, because the ISO 26000 was developed for use by a wide range of organisations across many countries, it is a complex and involved document. We analysed the ISO 26000 guidance standard in order to develop a practical guide for implementing it within local and central government organisations in New Zealand's land transport sector.