An Order in Council was signed on Monday 20 September by the Governor General of New Zealand, Patsy Reddy, stating that Chinese Medicine is to be a designated Health Service under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003) (HPCA Act). The Order will take effect from 1 November 2021.

The signing of this Order marks the next step in taking the Chinese medicine profession forward in the provision of health care to all New Zealanders. With the profession moving to be registered under the HPCA Act, the general public can be assured that all practitioners who become registered with the new Chinese Medicine Council of New Zealand (CMCNZ) have met the highest of standards of training and practice. The purpose of the HPCA Act is to protect the public - the role of advocating for practitioners will remain with Acupuncture NZ.

Members of the profession have worked tirelessly over many years to reach this point. Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, tui na (massage), cupping and moxibustion have steadily been gaining popularity in New Zealand as well as in many other western countries. This is a very significant step for the profession not only here but also for other Chinese medicine organisations around the world. Members of the public world-wide are increasingly looking toward the various aspects of Chinese medicine to help with a wide range of conditions and injuries. 

Nominations for positions on the new Council will be called for in coming weeks and the Council will be appointed by the Minister of Health. It is expected that the CMCNZ will be accepting registrations from practitioners from early in 2023.

For further information please contact Robin Kerr, President AcNZ, via the Acupuncture NZ office.