Since December 2004, the acupuncture profession has worked together to ensure the recognition of acupuncture as a health profession under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act 2003.
NZASA took a leading role in negotiations with the Government. NZASA's Policy Advisor Dr Graeme Campbell was invited by the 14 professional acupuncture bodies to lead the discussions. He wrote and submitted the acupuncture professions' successful joint application to the Ministry of Health (MOH).
In 2007 this recognition was awarded by the Minister of Health.
In May 2010, however, the acupuncture profession, along with six other professions, was advised that it must re-apply for recognition under the HPCA Act using the new and revised criteria.
As a result of consultations with other professional acupuncture groups and feedback from the NZASA membership, it was agreed to lodge an Application with the Ministry of Health (MOH) for the recognition of Chinese Medicine (acupuncture & herbal medicine).
The application was lodged on the 17th September 2010 on behalf of NZASA and its affiliated groups. A 2nd application supporting the recognition of Chinese Medicine was also lodged.
HPCA Update June 2021
It is a significant time for the Chinese medicine profession in New Zealand with the announcement on June 9th 2021 that the Chinese Medicine profession is to be regulated under the HPCA Act, 2003.
The next steps in the regulation process will be for an Order in Council to be prepared by the Parliamentary Counsel Office.
To enable the transition to a regulated profession, the Minister of Health will then call for nominations of appropriate persons to be appointed to the Chinese Medicine Council of New Zealand, which will be the Responsible Authority (RA) to regulate and register Chinese medicine practitioners. The Council will consist of Chinese medicine practitioners and lay people, all with governance experience. Once established, the Chinese Medicine Council of New Zealand will regulate the registration of Chinese medicine practitioners, approve qualifications, set standards and scopes of practice for the profession and deal with complaints. All Chinese medicine practitioners (acupuncturists and Chinese medicine Herbalists) in New Zealand will be required to be registered by the new RA.
The process of establishing the new Responsible Authority (RA) will take considerable time and NZASA will update membership as the process progresses.
Please refer to the Ministry of Health website for more information.