Health Act 1956

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Reprint as at 2 March 2018

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Health Act 1956

Public Act
1956 No 65
Date of assent
25 October 1956
see section 1(2)

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Health.


1Short Title and commencement
3Power of Governor-General in Council to amend Schedules
3AFunction of Ministry in relation to public health
3BDirector of Public Health
3CDirector-General to produce annual report on current state of public health
3DDirector of Public Health may provide advice or reports to Minister
3EPublic Health Group
3FPublic Health Group to consult
4Department of Health [Repealed]
5Director-General of Health [Repealed]
5ADeputy Directors-General and Assistant Directors-General of Health [Repealed]
5BDelegation of powers by Director-General [Repealed]
6Other officers and employees [Repealed]
6APart-time deputy medical officers of health [Repealed]
7Principal functions of Department [Repealed]
7AMedical officers of health and other officers
8Conservation of public health in areas outside jurisdiction of local authorities
9Delegation of powers by Minister [Repealed]
9AAdvisory committees and subcommittees [Repealed]
10Annual report [Repealed]
11Board of Health [Repealed]
11AChairman and deputy chairman [Repealed]
12Remuneration and travelling allowances [Repealed]
13Meetings and procedure of Board [Repealed]
14Seal of Board [Repealed]
15Secretary to Board [Repealed]
16Functions of Board [Repealed]
17Board may be appointed as a commission of inquiry [Repealed]
18Committees of Board [Repealed]
18AAd hoc subcommittees [Repealed]
19Health districts
20Medical officer of health for every health district [Repealed]
21Evidence of authority of medical officer or health protection officer
22Certain officers to have functions of medical officers of health
22APowers of departmental officers under Factories and Commercial Premises Act 1981 [Repealed]
22CDisclosure of health information
22DDuty to provide health information
22EDuty to provide information for purposes of blood collection
22FCommunication of information for diagnostic and other purposes
22GInspection of records
22HAnonymous health information
22IOffence to fail to retain health information [Repealed]
22JExpiry of section 22I
23General powers and duties of local authorities in respect of public health
24Governor-General may exempt certain local authorities [Repealed]
25Local authority to provide sanitary works
26Appeal against requisition or determination of Board of Health [Repealed]
27Local authority may raise loans for sanitary works
27AGrants and subsidies for refuse disposal works, sewerage works, and water supplies
28Appointment of environmental health officers by local authorities
29Nuisances defined for purposes of this Act
30Penalties for permitting or causing nuisances
31Provisions of this Act as to nuisances to be in addition to other rights
32Provisions of this Act as to nuisances to apply to Crown
33Proceedings in respect of nuisances
34Power to abate nuisance without notice
35Proceedings when nuisance caused by default outside district
36Local authorities to make provision for removal of refuse, etc [Repealed]
37Further provisions as to removal of refuse, etc [Repealed]
38Right of local authority to use portion of reserve for depot [Repealed]
39Requirements of dwellinghouses as to supply of water and sanitary conveniences
40Sanitary requirements for business premises [Repealed]
41Owners or occupiers may be required to cleanse premises
42Local authority may require repairs and issue closing order
43Appeal against closing order
44Issue of closing order by medical officer of health
45Determination of closing order
46Closing order for premises owned by local authority
47Failure to comply with closing order
48Local authority may require demolition [Repealed]
49District Court may make demolition order [Repealed]
50Issue of requisition by medical officer of health [Repealed]
51Enforcement of demolition order [Repealed]
52Offences in respect of requisition or demolition order [Repealed]
53Restriction on use of materials for building [Repealed]
53AMortgagee may do acts required of owner
53BProvisions where owner is a trustee
53CAdvances by local authority to owners
54Restrictions on carrying on offensive trade
55Appeal against decision of local authority or medical officer of health
56Local authority to notify medical officer of health of registered chemical works [Repealed]
57Local authority may restrict keeping of animals [Repealed]
58Restrictions on establishment of stock saleyards
59Appeal against decision of local authority or medical officer of health
60Pollution of water supply [Repealed]
61Control of watercourses, etc [Repealed]
62Supply of water from polluted source [Repealed]
63Powers of Director-General as to polluted water supply [Repealed]
65General provisions as to bylaws
65AEffect of Building Act 2004 on bylaws
66Penalties for breach of bylaws
67Mode of making bylaws
68Copies of bylaws to be available
69Duties and powers of harbour boards [Repealed]
69BThis Part generally to apply on commencement
69CApplication of sections 69S to 69ZC generally
69DApplication of sections 69S to 69ZC to bulk suppliers
69EApplication of sections 69S to 69ZC to water carriers
69FBulk suppliers, networked suppliers, water carriers, and designated ports or airports may elect earlier compliance
69HAll practicable steps
69IPart binds the Crown
69JDrinking-water register
69KApplications for registration
69LRenewal of registration by water carriers
69MDuty to update details on register
69NRemoval from register
69OMinister may issue, adopt, amend, or revoke drinking-water standards
69PMinister must consult before issuing, adopting, or amending drinking-water standards
69QDrinking-water standards must be notified and made available
69RCommencement of drinking-water standards
69SDuty of suppliers in relation to provision of drinking water
69TDuties where risk to water is actual or foreseeable
69UDuty to take reasonable steps to contribute to protection of source of drinking water
69VDuty to take all practicable steps to comply with drinking-water standards
69WDuty to take reasonable steps to supply wholesome drinking water
69XDuties in relation to new water sources
69YDuty to monitor drinking water
69ZDuty to prepare and implement water safety plan
69ZAMedical officer of health may require preparation and implementation of water safety plan
69ZBDuration of plans
69ZCReview and renewal of plans
69ZDDuty to keep records and make them available
69ZEDuty to investigate complaints
69ZFDuty to take remedial action if drinking-water standards breached
69ZGDuty to provide reasonable assistance to drinking-water assessors, designated officers, and medical officers of health
69ZHDuty to provide information to territorial authority
69ZITemporary supplier to notify medical officer of health of source and quality of raw water
69ZJPowers of medical officer of health relating to temporary drinking-water suppliers
69ZKDirector-General may appoint drinking-water assessors
69ZLFunctions of drinking-water assessors
69ZMDrinking-water assessors accountable to Director-General for performance of functions
69ZNFunctions of designated officers
69ZOPowers of designated officers
69ZPPowers of drinking-water assessors and designated officers
69ZQAncillary powers
69ZRRestrictions on exercise of powers
69ZSRequirement for warrant to enter dwellinghouse
69ZTStandard conditions applying where warrant executed
69ZUDrinking-water assessors and designated officers must produce identification
69ZVInventory of things seized to be provided
69ZWReview of decisions of drinking-water assessors
69ZXRegister of drinking-water assessors
69ZYDirector-General may recognise laboratories
69ZZCompliance tests must be carried out by recognised laboratory
69ZZAMinister may declare drinking-water emergency
69ZZBMaximum duration of drinking-water emergency declaration
69ZZCDrinking-water emergency may be declared or continued even if other emergency declared
69ZZDSpecial powers of designated officers during drinking-water emergency
69ZZECompensation for property requisitioned or destroyed
69ZZFActions taken under emergency powers may be exempted from requirements of Part 3 of Resource Management Act 1991
69ZZGEffect of exemption
69ZZHMedical officer of health may issue compliance order
69ZZICompliance with compliance order
69ZZJForm and content of compliance order
69ZZLStay of compliance order pending appeal
69ZZMVariation and cancellation of compliance order
69ZZNAppeals against decision on change or cancellation of compliance order
69ZZOContamination of raw water or pollution of water supply
69ZZPLocal authority may be required to warn users of self-supplied building water supplies about contamination
69ZZQOffence to supply or transport water if not registered
69ZZROffences against sections in this Part
69ZZSStrict liability and defence to offences
69ZZTOffences involving deception
69ZZUTime for filing charging document
69ZZWAdditional penalty for certain offences for commercial gain
69ZZXLiability of principal for acts of agents
69ZZZProtecting water supplies from risk of back-flow
69ZZZAKeeping, inspection, and copying of registers
69ZZZBDirector-General must publish annual report
69ZZZCStatements by Director-General
69ZZZDProtection of persons performing or exercising functions, duties, or powers under this Part
69ZZZERelationship between this Part and other enactments
70Special powers of medical officer of health
71Powers of medical officer of health on outbreak of infectious disease
71APower of constables to assist medical officer of health in relation to infectious diseases
72Offences relating to obstructing medical officer of health or people assisting medical officer of health
73Medical officer of health may cause sanitary works to be undertaken
74Health practitioners to give notice of cases of notifiable disease
74AAMedical laboratories to give notice of cases of notifiable disease
74ANational Cervical Screening Register [Repealed]
74BMedical laboratories may be required to give notice of cases of disease during epidemic
74CPriorities for medicines
74DRedirection of aircraft
75Duty of occupier of premises as to infectious disease
76Duty of master of vessel in harbour as to infectious disease
77Medical officer of health may enter premises
78Director-General of Health may order post-mortem examination
79Isolation of persons likely to spread infectious disease [Repealed]
80Offences in respect of infectious or communicable diseases
81Power of local authority to disinfect premises
82Medical officer of health may order premises to be disinfected
83Infected articles may be destroyed
84Establishment of mortuaries and disinfecting stations
85Notice of death from infectious disease
86Duties of local authorities as to burials
87Compensation for persons injuriously affected
87ACommunicable diseases occurring in animals
88Persons suffering from venereal disease to undergo treatment [Repealed]
89Duty of medical practitioner as to patient suffering from venereal disease [Repealed]
90Treatment of children [Repealed]
91Persons other than medical practitioners treating venereal disease [Repealed]
92Infecting any person with venereal disease [Repealed]
92APrinciples to be taken into account
92BParamount consideration
92CRespect for individuals
92DVoluntary compliance
92EIndividual to be informed
92FPrinciple of proportionality
92GLeast restrictive alternative
92HMeasures to apply no longer than necessary
92IMedical officer of health may give directions to individual posing public health risk
92JMedical officer of health may give directions to contacts of individuals posing public health risk
92KDirection for medical examination
92LDirection to close educational institutions
92MDirector-General may require copies of directions given under this Part
92NWritten directions and notices to be served on individual
92ODuration of directions
92PMedical officer of health must review directions
92QDirections may be extended
92RRepeated directions may be given
92SDirections may be varied or rescinded
92TAppeal against directions
92VOffence for failing to comply with directions
92WOffence to obstruct compliance with directions
92XDuty of care relating to individuals under 16 years and persons lacking in legal capacity
92YForce not permissible
92ZDistrict Court may make public health order
92ZAPublic health order may impose certain requirements on individual
92ZBMatters that District Court may take into account in assessing public health risk
92ZCDuration of public health order
92ZDPublic health order may be extended
92ZERelationship between directions and public health orders
92ZFMedical officer of health may make urgent public health order
92ZGDuration of urgent public health order
92ZHMedical examination orders
92ZIDistrict Court may make public health order contingent on examinations establishing infectious disease
92ZJOrder for contacts
92ZKProceedings under this Part in District Court to be heard by Family Court Judges, if practicable
92ZLProceedings under this Part not open to public
92ZMDistrict Court may appoint lawyers to act for individuals under 16 years
92ZNApplication for order
92ZOPrior consultation with individual and individual’s family or whānau
92ZPCase conferences
92ZQMedical officer of health must review orders
92ZRDistrict Court may cancel or vary orders
92ZTAppeals to High Court
92ZUAppeals to Court of Appeal
92ZVEnforcement of order by medical officer of health
92ZWOffence not to comply with order
92ZXOffence to obstruct compliance with order
92ZYPurpose of contact tracing
92ZZWhat contact tracing involves
92ZZAWho may be contact tracer
92ZZBAppropriateness of contact tracing
92ZZCDuty of individual with infectious disease to provide information about contacts
92ZZDConsideration as to whether contact tracing can be undertaken by individual
92ZZEWhen contact tracer may undertake contact tracing
92ZZFContact tracer may require certain persons to provide information
92ZZGDuty of confidentiality
92ZZHOffence to fail to comply with direction to provide required information about contacts
93Port health officers [Repealed]
94Places of inspection for ships
95Infected places
96Ships and aircraft liable to quarantine
97People liable to quarantine
97APeople liable to quarantine to comply with directions and supply information
97BDetention of craft and people
97CLifting of detention of craft
97DPowers and duties of medical officer of health or health protection officer in relation to quarantinable diseases
97ESurveillance of certain people liable to quarantine
97FChildren and people under disability
97GOffences against this Part
98Continuance of liability to quarantine
99Restrictions applying while ship liable to quarantine
100Quarantine signal for ships
101Inspection of ship or aircraft liable to quarantine
102Ship’s declaration of health
103Aircraft declaration [Repealed]
104Offences under last 2 preceding sections [Repealed]
105Ship arriving from infected place
106Ship with quarantinable disease on board
107Grant of pratique
108Persons suffering from quarantinable disease
109Infected baggage, cargo, or stores
110Disinfection and fumigation of craft
111Power to board any ship and inspect
112AASections 70 and 71 and this Part operate independently
112CAppointment of persons to operate NCSP
112DObjectives of NCSP
112EEnrolment in NCSP
112FDuties of NCSP manager that relate to enrolled women
112GProcedure to prevent or cancel enrolment in NCSP
112HDuties of NCSP manager when women cancel enrolment in NCSP
112IProcedure to re-enrol in NCSP
112JCertain information held by NCSP must not be disclosed
112KDelegation of functions and powers
112LDuties of persons taking specimens for screening tests
112MDuty of persons performing colposcopic procedure
112NDuty of laboratories where specimens are analysed
112OEstablishment of NCSP review committee
112PWork of review committee
112QReview committee’s access to information
112RReport by review committee
112SDuty of Director-General to report
112TMeaning of evaluate
112UDirector-General may designate screening programme evaluators
112VCriteria for designating employees of Ministry
112WCriteria for designating persons who are not Ministry employees
112XPower of screening programme evaluators to access specimens and health information
112YDuties of screening programme evaluators
112ZDuties of persons to whom evaluation material is supplied by screening programme evaluator
112ZAScreening programme evaluator may publish non-identifiable information obtained during evaluation
112ZBDuty of health practitioners
112ZCDuty of persons who hold specimens
112ZDDuty of hospitals
112ZEScreening programme employees may retain, access, use, and disclose information to perform functions
112ZGIncorporation of standards by reference in regulations
112ZHEffect of amendments to, or replacement of, standards incorporated by reference in regulations
112ZIProof of standards incorporated by reference
112ZJEffect of expiry or revocation of standards incorporated by reference
112ZKRequirement to consult
112ZLAccess to standards incorporated by reference
112ZMApplication of Legislation Act 2012 to standards incorporated by reference
112ZNApplication of Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 to standards incorporated by reference [Repealed]
112ZOApplication of Standards and Accreditation Act 2015 not affected
114Ban on providing artificial UV tanning services to persons under 18 years
115Infringement offences
116Commission of infringement offences
116AInfringement notices
116BPayment of infringement fees
117Regulations as to public health
118Regulations as to quarantine
119Regulations as to noxious substances and gases and dangerous goods
120Regulations as to registration
120ARegulations as to homes and day-care centres for aged persons
120BRegulations as to camping grounds
120CRegulations as to housing improvement and overcrowding
121Regulations as to qualifications of environmental health officers appointed by local authorities
121ARegulations as to retention of health information
122Special provisions as to regulations
123Powers of Director-General on default by local authority
124Constitution and powers of boards of appeal
125Medical examination of children
126Infirm and neglected persons
126APersons attempting to commit suicide [Repealed]
126BBlood transfusions [Repealed]
127Attendance of medical officer of health at meetings of local authorities
128Power of entry and inspection
128ABuilding Act 2004
129Protection of persons acting under authority of Act
130Expenses of local authorities
131Service of documents
132Procedure in respect of charges on land
133Obstruction of officers
134Failure to disclose name of owner or occupier
135Interference by owner or occupier
136General penalty for offences
137Offences punishable on summary conviction [Repealed]
137AIncorporation of material by reference into regulations and compliance documents
137BEffect of amendments to, or replacement of, material incorporated by reference
137CProof of material incorporated by reference
137DEffect of expiry of material incorporated by reference
137ERequirement to consult
137FAccess to material incorporated by reference
137GApplication of Legislation Act 2012 to material incorporated by reference
137HApplication of Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 to material incorporated by reference [Repealed]
138Other Acts not affected
139Consequential amendments
140Repeals and savings
Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to public health