Health Act 1956

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Health
2 Interpretation

(1)

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

aerodrome has the same meaning as in the Civil Aviation Act 1990

aircraft has the same meaning as in the Civil Aviation Act 1990

animal includes any bird, reptile, amphibian, or insect

carrier, in relation to any infectious disease, means any person having in his blood, or in his nose or throat, or in his excretions, or in his discharges, the specific infectious agent of that disease, though he may exhibit no other sign or symptom of that disease

cleansing, in relation to any building, includes lime-washing, papering, painting, and the destruction of vermin

communicable disease includes any infectious disease, and any other disease declared by the Governor-General, by Order in Council, to be a communicable disease for the purposes of this Act (see subsection (5))

contact, in relation to any infectious disease, means any person who has been exposed to risk of infection from an infectious disease

craft means an aircraft, ship, or other device or machine, that can be used to carry or transport people or goods—

(a)

by air; or

(b)

on or under water

Director-General means the chief executive under the Public Service Act 2020 of the Ministry of Health; and, in relation to any power or function delegated by that chief executive, includes any person to whom that chief executive has delegated that power or function

drinking water standards means the standards made under section 47 of the Water Services Act 2021

dwellinghouse means any building, tent, caravan, or other structure or erection, whether permanent or temporary, that is used or intended to be used in whole or in part for human habitation, and includes the land and any outbuildings and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith

educational institution

(a)

means any place where people gather for the purpose of education or training; and

(b)

includes an early childhood education and care centre within the meaning of section 10(1) of the Education and Training Act 2020

environmental health officer means an environmental health officer appointed under section 28 or a health protection officer

epidemic management notice means a notice under section 8(1) of the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006

epidemic notice means a notice under section 5(1) of the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006

Health New Zealand has the meaning in section 4 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022

health practitioner has the same meaning as in section 5(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003

health protection officer means a person designated by the Director-General as a health protection officer under this Act

health provider means a person or an organisation that provides, or arranges the provision of, personal health services or public health services

hospital means a hospital care institution within the meaning of section 58(4) of the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001

infectious disease means any disease for the time being specified in Part 1 or Part 2 of Schedule 1

local authority means a territorial authority within the meaning of the Local Government Act 2002

Māori Health Authority has the meaning in section 4 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022

medical examination, in Part 3A, means the physical examination or testing of a person for the purpose of determining whether the person has or is likely to have an infectious disease, and includes—

(a)

the taking of a sample of tissue, blood, urine, or other bodily material for medical testing; and

(b)

any diagnostic tests required to detect the presence of, or immunity to, an infectious disease in a person

medical examination order means an order made under section 92ZH

medical officer of health means the medical officer of health appointed under this Act for a health district, and includes any deputy medical officer of health; and, for the purposes of Part 4, includes any medical practitioner acting under the direction of the medical officer of health

medical practitioner means a health practitioner who is, or is deemed to be, registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand continued by section 114(1)(a) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 as a practitioner of the profession of medicine

Minister means the Minister of Health

Ministry of Health means the department of the public service referred to by that name; and Ministry has a corresponding meaning

notifiable disease means any notifiable infectious disease, and any disease for the time being specified in Schedule 2

notifiable infectious disease means any infectious disease for the time being specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1

offensive trade means any trade, business, manufacture, or undertaking for the time being specified in Schedule 3

owner, in relation to any land or premises, means the person for the time being entitled to receive the rent of the land or premises, whether on his own account or as the agent of or trustee for any other person, or who would be so entitled if the land or premises were let at a rent, and includes any person for the time being registered under the Land Transfer Act 2017 as owner of the land or premises

passenger, in relation to a craft means any person in or on it who is not a member of its crew

personal health has the meaning in section 4 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022

personal health services has the meaning in section 4 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022

potable water means water that—

(a)

is safe to drink; and

(b)

complies with the drinking water standards

premises includes any commercial premises, private premises, vehicle, ship, or aircraft

prescribed means prescribed by this Act or by regulations or bylaws thereunder

public health has the meaning in section 4 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022

public health order means an order made under section 92Z

public health risk, in Part 3A and sections 74 and 74AA, means a substantial risk of serious harm that 1 or more individuals who have, or may have, an infectious disease pose to the health or safety of 1 or more other persons because of the infectious disease, having regard to—

(a)

the nature of the infectious disease, including, without limitation, the transmissibility and mode of transmission of the infectious disease; and

(b)

the relevant circumstances of the particular case

public health services has the meaning in section 4 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022

quarantinable disease means a disease stated in Part 3 of Schedule 1

ship includes every description of vessel used in navigation

smoke includes any fumes, gases, dust, soot, grit, or other matters produced in the process of combustion.

(2)

If, in any proceedings for an offence against this Act or against any regulations thereunder, a question arises as to whether or not any person is a contact, as defined in subsection (1), the question shall be determined in accordance with the opinion of the medical officer of health.

(3)

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, amend Part 3 of Schedule 1 by adding or omitting the name of a disease, or substituting a new name for a disease (see subsection (5)).

(4)

In this Act, a reference to an individual who has an infectious disease includes an individual who is infected or colonised by, or is a carrier of, an organism capable of causing the disease, even if the individual does not exhibit any of the symptoms of the disease.

(5)

The following are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements):

(a)

an order under the definition of communicable disease in subsection (1):

(b)

an order under subsection (3).

Compare: 1920 No 45 s 2; 1940 No 17 ss 4, 9, 11(1), 16, 18; SR 1951/282

Legislation Act 2019 requirements for secondary legislation made under this section
PublicationPCO must publish it on the legislation website and notify it in the GazetteLA19 s 69(1)(c)
PresentationThe Minister must present it to the House of RepresentativesLA19 s 114, Sch 1 cl 32(1)(a)
DisallowanceIt may be disallowed by the House of Representatives LA19 ss 115, 116
This note is not part of the Act.

Section 2(1) aerodrome: amended, on 1 September 1990, pursuant to section 101(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 (1990 No 98).

Section 2(1) aircraft: amended, on 1 September 1990, pursuant to section 101(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 (1990 No 98).

Section 2(1) Board: repealed, on 1 October 1988, by section 4(3) of the Health Amendment Act 1988 (1988 No 99).

Section 2(1) chemical works: repealed, on 1 April 1974, by section 56(1) of the Clean Air Act 1972 (1972 No 31).

Section 2(1) communicable disease: amended, on 28 October 2021, by section 3 of the Secondary Legislation Act 2021 (2021 No 7).

Section 2(1) communicable disease: amended, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(1) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(1) contact: amended, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(2) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(1) craft: inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 4(1) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

Section 2(1) Director-General: replaced, on 1 July 1993, by section 2(1) of the Health Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 24).

Section 2(1) Director-General: amended, on 7 August 2020, by section 135 of the Public Service Act 2020 (2020 No 40).

Section 2(1) district health board: repealed, on 1 July 2022, by section 104 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 (2022 No 30).

Section 2(1) drinking water standards: inserted, on 15 November 2021, by section 206(1) of the Water Services Act 2021 (2021 No 36).

Section 2(1) educational institution: inserted, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(4) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(1) educational institution paragraph (b): amended, on 1 August 2020, by section 668 of the Education and Training Act 2020 (2020 No 38).

Section 2(1) environmental health officer: replaced, on 1 July 1993, by section 2(2) of the Health Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 24).

Section 2(1) epidemic management notice: inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 4(1) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

Section 2(1) epidemic notice: inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 4(1) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

Section 2(1) Health New Zealand: inserted, on 1 July 2022, by section 104 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 (2022 No 30).

Section 2(1) health practitioner: inserted, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(4) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(1) health protection officer: replaced, on 1 July 1993, by section 2(3) of the Health Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 24).

Section 2(1) health provider: inserted, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(4) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(1) hospital: replaced, on 1 October 2002, by section 58(1) of the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 (2001 No 93).

Section 2(1) inspector: repealed, on 26 July 1988, by section 2(3) of the Health Amendment Act 1988 (1988 No 99).

Section 2(1) inspector of health: repealed, on 26 July 1988, by section 2(3) of the Health Amendment Act 1988 (1988 No 99).

Section 2(1) local authority: replaced, on 1 July 2003, by section 262 of the Local Government Act 2002 (2002 No 84).

Section 2(1) Māori Health Authority: inserted, on 1 July 2022, by section 104 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 (2022 No 30).

Section 2(1) medical examination: inserted, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(4) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(1) medical examination order: inserted, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(4) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No  35).

Section 2(1) medical officer of health: amended, on 1 July 1993, by section 2(6) of the Health Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 24).

Section 2(1) medical officer of health: amended, on 26 November 1982, by section 2(a) of the Health Amendment Act 1982 (1982 No 34).

Section 2(1) medical practitioner: inserted, on 18 September 2004, by section 175(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (2003 No 48).

Section 2(1) Ministry of Health: inserted, on 1 July 1993, by section 2(7) of the Health Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 24).

Section 2(1) Ministry of Health: amended, on 7 August 2020, by section 135 of the Public Service Act 2020 (2020 No 40).

Section 2(1) noxious or offensive gas: repealed, on 1 April 1974, by section 56(1) of the Clean Air Act 1972 (1972 No 31).

Section 2(1) owner: amended, on 12 November 2018, by section 250 of the Land Transfer Act 2017 (2017 No 30).

Section 2(1) passenger: inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 4(1) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

Section 2(1) personal health: replaced, on 1 July 2022, by section 104 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 (2022 No 30).

Section 2(1) personal health services: replaced, on 1 July 2022, by section 104 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 (2022 No 30).

Section 2(1) port health officer: repealed, on 26 November 1982, by section 2(b) of the Health Amendment Act 1982 (1982 No 34).

Section 2(1) potable water: inserted, on 15 November 2021, by section 206(1) of the Water Services Act 2021 (2021 No 36).

Section 2(1) premises: replaced, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(3) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(1) public health: replaced, on 1 July 2022, by section 104 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 (2022 No 30).

Section 2(1) public health order: inserted, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(4) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(1) public health risk: inserted, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(4) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(1) public health services: replaced, on 1 July 2022, by section 104 of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 (2022 No 30).

Section 2(1) quarantinable disease: replaced, on 19 December 2006, by section 4(1) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

Section 2(1) venereal disease: repealed, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(5) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(3): inserted, on 19 December 2006, by section 4(2) of the Health Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 86).

Section 2(3): amended, on 28 October 2021, by section 3 of the Secondary Legislation Act 2021 (2021 No 7).

Section 2(4): inserted, on 4 January 2017, by section 4(6) of the Health (Protection) Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 35).

Section 2(5): inserted, on 28 October 2021, by section 3 of the Secondary Legislation Act 2021 (2021 No 7).