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I am using QGIS 2.16 to try to convert polygons with 3d vertices to polylines with 3d vertices. Using the tool Vector -> Geometry Tools -> Polygons to Lines writes out the polyines, but the z information has been removed. Am I missing something or is there another workaround in QGIS to achieve 3d polylines from 3d polygons?

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If you can upgrade to 2.18 you could use the "boundary" algorithm in the toolbox (https://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/visualchangelog218/index.html#feature-geometry-boundary-algorithm). This algorithm fully supports z/m values and curves, and given that the boundary of a polygon is the exterior and interior rings you'll get the same result as converting polygons to lines.

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