I agree with you 100% about the need for a wee shift in focus for MNZ. I deliver a short practitioner course in relaxation massage that is NZQA approved – the standard of competency achieved by my students is
completely inadequate in terms of graduates being able to “register” as RMT’s or CMT’s with MNZ, yet many of them are working successfully with satisfied clients.
> The practitioner competencies we teach ensure that students understand safe limits of practise – but that doesn’t prevent them from legitimately being in business as therapists.
Let’s face it, massage therapy has been around in every culture for millenia, and I have always been concerned about the “cornering” of massage practise via regulation and/or legislation by any one organisation. I gave evidence to this effect at the Select Committe hearings prior to the passage of the governing law, the Health Practitioner Competency Assurance Act 2004.
This specifically cites massage therapy as an unrestricted activity. Any organisation seeking to change this and make it “restricted” would have to demonstrate to the Minister of Health that there was a serious likelihood of
harm to the public if it was left unrestricted. I struggle to see how serious harm could arise when people are practising derivations of mirimiri, lomilomi, Thai, Indian, you-name-it cultural traditions going back as far
> as Hippocrates, who advocated “rubbing” to alleviate a wide range of ills.
Sure, a professional body can set standards of practise, operate a Code of Ethics, and promote safe standards of practise for therapists across the spectrum, and this is great. But when the activity is unrestricted and is likely to remain so, what determines the activity is the market – caveat emptor. The broad-base focus for members of a professional body for an unrestricted activity should be on networking, generating upskilling opportunities, and raising the profile of the modality, rather than attempting to ram an underfunded organisational head against a political brick wall.
We’re fortunate in this country that the Health and Disability Code covers the practise of all therapists, registered or unregistred, paid or unpaid, and this guarantees the rights of consumer receiving massage services; we health providers are over-regulated, over-feed (as in too-many-fees:-) and over-managed as it is, and the HDC provides an excellent safety net. Why
> re-invent wheels? Let’s have an affordable, broad-based, inclusive professional network that gives us excellent education and networking opportunities – such as the Wellington conference last year – an informative regular publication, and a sense that we belong to a group of responsible self-managing health providers.
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> Lynda Mabin, Director, HHT Ltd

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