Co-chairs Message to Members
27 November 2021
Kia ora members,
In these challenging times we are attempting to navigate the evolving processes introduced by the NZ Government. The COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) is due to be implemented on Friday 3rd December, and with so many unanswered questions this is creating anxiety and concern for many.
There are still many aspects to clarify, specifically for massage therapists. We have collated several questions from MNZ members and relayed them to AHANZ in the hope that we could have a zoom Q&A with a Ministry representative this week. Understandably, due to the heavy pressure of the situation they have been unable to confirm a session for us this week, but we hope to gain confirmation on Monday.
One of the most vital questions at present is whether massage therapists are included in 'health services' or considered 'close contact' businesses? This makes a big difference with regards to seeing unvaccinated clients and requirements for viewing vaccine passes. The term non-medical massage has now been used on the business.govt.nz website regarding close contact businesses - Close contact services - business.govt.nz.
Our concerns have been emailed to AHANZ about the use of the terms medical and non-medical massage as these definitions are not used in our profession/industry in NZ, are not easy to define, and create more confusion. We have asked the Ministry of Health if they have a clear definition of what medical massage is in NZ terms? We feel it would have been advisable to consult MNZ about this, to create a definition if required from within the profession/industry from those who understand it best. AHANZ did respond to say that it is a work in progress, and they are still detailing what the definition of a health service is under the CPF. Our comments and concerns were directed to a member of the Ministry of Health policy team who are working through these definitions.
We had hoped to be able to provide more clarity for all massage therapists this week, but it seems that the information we require is not currently available. We appreciate the time and effort members are taking to find information and send it through to us with their comments. This is a real team effort! We will continue to approach all available channels to address our questions and concerns and expect to know more on Monday.
Wishing you all a very pleasant weekend. Remember to look after yourselves and find some time to relax with friends and family. We will get through this.
Nga mihi nui,
Bernie Withington & Helen Smith - MNZ Co-chairs
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