Section 125 of the Health Act 1956 – Medical examination of children

A health care worker may need to perform a simple check on a child at a school or early childcare centre to determine if the child has a medical condition such as an ear infection, head lice, scabies, or vision or hearing loss.

Wherever possible, health workers who need to examine children should seek consent in accordance with Right 7 of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights. However, there can be are situations where a health worker is unable to obtain consent. A health worker can perform a medical examination without consent only if they are authorised by the Minister of Health according to section 125 of the Health Act 1956.

A health worker who requires authorisation to perform medical examinations without consent must apply to the Ministry via their employer.  

Who can be authorised?

  • Registered nurses
  • Medical officers of health
  • Vision and hearing technicians

Application process

Applications must be submitted to the Ministry by the health worker’s employer using the application form (Word, 96 KB). The form must include the following information:

  • for each health worker:
    • full name
    • role in organisation
    • district health board/s in which the applicant will be working
    • Health Practitioner Index number (HPI), for registered nurses or medical officers of health
    • a copy of police clearance, for vision and hearing technicians or any other health worker who does not have an HPI number
  • for the employer:
    • contact details
    • declaration that an authorisation is required.

Applications will be processed within 20 working days of receipt of all required information. The applicant’s employer will be advised by the Ministry if authorisations have been approved, or if further information is required.

Health care workers who are authorised to examine children without consent should be familiar with the Ministry’s Guidelines for medical examination of children under section 125 of the Health Act (Word, 32 KB).

How to apply

Download the application form (Word, 96 KB), complete all relevant details and send to the Ministry:

By post:

Ministry of Health
PO Box 5013

or by fax: (04) 496 2343

or by email:

Further information

For further information, please phone 0800 113 813 or email

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