Originally the Board was known as the Masseurs Registration Board,  set up when the Masseurs Registration Act was passed in 1920.  The function of the Board was to register approved persons,  penalise transgressions of the Act,  to allow employment of only registered masseurs in public hospitals and institutions and to regulate the courses of instruction and State Examinations.  The 1921 Act was planned by Hester McLean,  Director of Nursing,  and she endeavoured to include an authority clause that masseurs could only work under the control of a medical practitioner.  It was realised it would be impossible to get the Bill passed with such a measure included and the clause was dropped.  The original composition of the Board was the Registrar (the Inspector-General of Health or his deputy) a registered medical practitioner and a person engaged in the practice of massage.  There were many representations and problems with this Act until a new Physiotherapy Act was passed in 1949[1].

Function of the Board after 1949

Administration of the Physiotherapy Act was vested in the Physiotherapy Board under the administration of the Department of Health.  The Board was funded by the Department but it did generate most of its own income from Annual Practising Certificates,  registration fees and examination fees.  Funding from the Health Department comprised employing the Registrar,  the Deputy Registrar and the Secretary[2].  Membership of the Board comprised the Director of Health or his nominee,  two medical practitioners,  three physiotherapists (one from the private sector,  one from the public sector and one other),  and Heads of the Physiotherapy Schools.  The three physiotherapists were nominated by the NZSP.

Appointments to the Board

here has been disagreement within the Society over the years about how to nominate Board members,  and how long their term of service should be.  For example a postal ballot for the election of nominees was held in 1974.  The procedure in 1994 was to advise NZSP members through the newsletter of forthcoming vacancies and call for nominations,  which were then sent to the relevant SIG group for comment.  National Executive made the final decision and advised the Ministry of Health accordingly.  Terms of Office on the Physiotherapy Board were for three years.[3]. 


[1] Golden Jubilee Enid Anderson page 16

[2] NZJP December 1983 page 5

[3] E/M 25-11-94

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