Part 3
Infectious and notifiable diseases

70 Special powers of medical officer of health
  • (1) For the purpose of preventing the outbreak or spread of any infectious disease, the medical officer of health may from time to time, if authorised to do so by the Minister or if a state of emergency has been declared under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 or while an epidemic notice is in force,—

    • (a) declare any land, building, or thing to be insanitary, and prohibit its use for any specified purpose:

    • (b) cause any insanitary building to be pulled down, and the timber and other materials thereof to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as he thinks fit:

    • (c) cause insanitary things to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as he thinks fit:

    • (d) cause infected animals to be destroyed in such manner as he thinks fit:

    • (e) require persons to report themselves or submit themselves for medical examination at specified times and places:

    • (ea) if the spread of the disease would be a significant risk to the public, require people to report, or submit themselves for medical testing, at stated times and places:

    • (f) require persons, places, buildings, ships, vehicles, aircraft, animals, or things to be isolated, quarantined, or disinfected as he thinks fit:

    • (fa) if the spread of the disease would be a significant risk to the public, require people, places, buildings, ships, vehicles, aircraft, animals, or things to be tested as he or she thinks fit:

    • (g) forbid persons, ships, vehicles, aircraft, animals, or things to come or be brought to any port or place in the health district from any port or place which is or is supposed to be infected with any infectious disease:

    • (h) require people to remain in the health district or the place in which they are isolated or quarantined until they have been medically examined and found to be free from infectious disease, and until they have undergone such preventive treatment as he may in any such case prescribe:

    • (i) forbid the removal of ships, vehicles, aircraft, animals, or things from the health district, or from one port or part thereof to another, or from the place where they are isolated or quarantined, until they have been disinfected or examined and found to be free from infection:

    • (j) prohibit the keeping of animals or of any species of animal in any specified part of the health district:

    • (k) forbid the discharge of sewage, drainage, or insanitary matter of any description into any watercourse, stream, lake, or source of water supply:

    • (l) use or authorise any local authority to use as a temporary site for a special hospital or place of isolation any reserve or endowment suitable for the purpose, notwithstanding that such use may conflict with any trust, enactment, or condition affecting the reserve or endowment:

    • (la) by written order to the person appearing to be in charge of the premises concerned, do either or both of the following:

      • (i) require to be closed immediately, until further order or for a fixed period, any premises within the health district (or a stated area of the district):

      • (ii) require to be closed immediately, until further order or for a fixed period, any premises within the health district (or a stated area of the district) in which infection control measures described in the order are not operating:

    • (m) by order published in a newspaper circulating in the health district or by announcement broadcast by a television channel or radio station that can be received by most households in the health district, do any of the following:

      • (i) require to be closed, until further order or for a fixed period, all premises within the district (or a stated area of the district) of any stated kind or description:

      • (ii) require to be closed, until further order or for a fixed period, all premises within the district (or a stated area of the district) of any stated kind or description in which infection control measures described in the order are not operating:

      • (iii) forbid people to congregate in outdoor places of amusement or recreation of any stated kind or description (whether public or private) within the district (or a stated area of the district):

      • (iv) forbid people to congregate in outdoor places of amusement or recreation of any stated kind or description (whether public or private) within the district (or a stated area of the district) in which infection control measures described in the order are not operating.

    • (n) [Repealed]

    • (o) [Repealed]

    (1A) An order under paragraph (la) or (m) of subsection (1) does not apply to—

    • (a) any premises that are, or any part of any premises that is, used solely as a private dwellinghouse; or

    • (b) any premises within the parliamentary precincts (within the meaning of section 3 of the Parliamentary Service Act 2000); or

    • (c) any premises whose principal or only use is as a courtroom or judge's chambers, or a court registry; or

    • (d) any premises that are, or are part of, a prison (within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Corrections Act 2004).

    (1B) An order under paragraph (la) or (m) of subsection (1) may exempt people engaged in necessary work in the premises to which it relates.

    (1C) If the medical officer of health publishes an order under subsection (1)(m) in a newspaper circulating in the health district, he or she must also make reasonable efforts to have the contents or gist of the order published by announcement broadcast by a television channel or radio station that can be received by most households in the health district.

    (1D) The medical officer of health may publish in any other manner he or she thinks appropriate an order under paragraph (la) or (m) of subsection (1) or its gist.

    (2) The medical officer of health, and any environmental health officer or other person authorised in that behalf by the medical officer of health, may at any time, with or without assistants, enter on any lands, buildings, or ships, and inspect the same and all things thereon or therein; and may do, with respect to any persons, places, lands, buildings, ships, animals, or things, whatever in the opinion of the medical officer of health is necessary or expedient for the purpose of carrying out the foregoing provisions of this section.

    (3) In no case shall the medical officer of health, or any environmental health officer or assistant or other person, incur any personal liability by reason of anything lawfully done by him under the powers conferred by this section.

    (4) If satisfied that it is desirable in the circumstances to do so, the Director-General may authorise a medical officer of health to operate in a stated area outside his or her district; and in that case, this section and section 71 apply as if the area is part of both his or her district and the district of which it is in fact part.

    Compare: 1920 No 45 s 76

    Section 70(1): amended, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(1) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1): amended, on 1 December 2002, by section 117 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 (2002 No 33).

    Section 70(1): amended, on 3 November 1964, by section 3 of the Health Amendment Act 1964 (1964 No 34).

    Section 70(1)(ea): inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(2) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1)(f): amended, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(3) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1)(fa): inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(4) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1)(g): amended, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(5) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1)(h): amended, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(6) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1)(i): amended, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(5) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1)(la): inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(7) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1)(m): replaced, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(7) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1)(n): repealed, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(7) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1)(o): repealed, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(7) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1A): inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(8) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1B): inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(8) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1C): inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(8) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(1D): inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(8) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

    Section 70(2): amended, on 26 July 1988, pursuant to section 2(4) of the Health Amendment Act 1988 (1988 No 99).

    Section 70(3): amended, on 26 July 1988, pursuant to section 2(4) of the Health Amendment Act 1988 (1988 No 99).

    Section 70(4): inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 5(9) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).