Radiation safety

The Ministry of Health’s Office of Radiation Safety administers the Radiation Safety Act 2016 and the Radiation Safety Regulations 2016 on behalf of the New Zealand Government. This legislation controls all dealings with ionising radiation.


December 2018

Deadline for receiving applications in 2018 - This year, the Ministry's offices will close on Friday 21 December 2018 and reopen on Monday, 7th January 2019. Applications for licences and consents will need to be received by 5 pm on Friday 14th of December to ensure processing this calendar year. Note, applications received after 14th December 2018 will be processed after 7th of January 2019.

Payments by Credit Card - The Office of Radiation Safety is excited to announce that payment of fees is now possible by credit card. This is particularly interesting for urgent enquiries. To receive further details, please email orsenquiries@moh.govt.nz.

Codes of Practice – We are making steady progress with issuing new Codes of Practice. The Code of Practice for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology - ORS C1 has been published in November (see website). The Transport Code of Practice has entered the editorial stage and will be send out for consultation. The Code of Practice for Nuclear Medicine (ORS C2) has passed the editorial stage already and will be published soon. We are working in parallel on a new Code of Practice for Security which will go out for consultation.

Enquiries: The best way to contact us is by logging your enquiries at orsenquiries@moh.govt.nz. This in-box is checked on a daily basis by our two Regulatory Administrators. Additionally, you can call us on our 0800 113 813 number if required.

Twitter: You can communicate with us via Twitter. Follow us on Twitter @minhealthnz.

Director for Radiation Safety

Key requirements

The legislation requires the following:

  • owners of radiation sources must hold a source licence authorising them to manage and control those sources
  • owners must also register controlled radiation sources with the Office of Radiation Safety
  • users of radiation sources must hold a use licence unless their use is otherwise authorised by the Act or regulations
  • importers and exporters of radioactive material must obtain a consent.

Radiation Safety Advisory Council

The Radiation Safety Advisory Council is a Ministerial-appointed Council established under the Radiation Safety Act 2016. This Council is responsible for providing advice to the Minister of Health and Director for Radiation Safety on matters relating to or affecting radiation safety, and standards relating to radiation safety. Applications for the Radiation Safety Advisory Council (Policy and Advisory) positions have been received and are under review.

Licensee search

Search the Ministry’s register of current radiation licence holders.

In this section

  • People or organisations who manage and control radiation sources must obtain a source licence, register the radiation sources and take prime responsibility for protection and safety. This section has information on compliance with licensing and registration requirements, safety and security of radiation sources secure, codes of practice and more. Read more
  • Users of ionising radiation must be authorised under the Radiation Safety Act 2016 whether by way of licence or otherwise. This section has information for radiation users, including licensing requirements, other forms of authorisation, compliance with fundamental requirements, codes of practice and more. Read more
  • Check the requirements for the sale, purchase or disposal of radiation sources under the Radiation Saftey Act 2016. Importers and exporters of radioactive material must obtain consent from the Office of Radiation Safety (or comply with the Regulations). Read more
  • Radioactive material must be transported safely and securely. This section contains information on the rules for transporting radioactive material, guidance for drivers and handlers, and information on transporting uranium ore concentrate. Read more
  • Many service providers provide important support services to the radiation sector. This section has information for service providers, including when they need a licence, and information on calibrating radiation measuring equipment and personal dosimetry services. Read more
  • The Ministry provides advice to Government and the public on the health effects of non-ionising radiation. Read more
  • The Office of Radiation Safety is the regulatory body which administers radiation safety legislation. This section describes the functions of the office and links to other organisations promoting radiation safety. Read more
  • The Ministry of Health’s environmental radioactivity monitoring programme analyses trends in environmental radioactivity in the region and warns of any influx in radioactivity. The programme confirms recent trends of decreasing radioactivity levels in the New Zealand environment, despite recent nuclear incidents that have occurred in the northern hemisphere. Read more
  • The Environmental radioactivity annual reports have reported on environmental radioactivity levels in the New Zealand and South Pacific region since 1960.   Read more
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