Rongoā and the Therapeutic Products Act

The Therapeutic Products Act and what it means for rongoā.

Rongoā will not be regulated, in most cases, under the Act. That means Māori will continue using and making rongoā just as they have for generations.

The few cases in which regulation will apply is when rongoā is made for commercial export or commercial wholesale, such as to a large grocery chain or pharmacy franchise.

Most rongoā practitioners do not operate in this way so the change will not affect the large majority of rongoā day-to-day practice around the motu. Rongoā practitioners will still make and export products to individual patients and whānau overseas freely, and marae-based rongoā activities including most wholesale supply, will still go ahead as normal.

A rongoā advisory committee will be established to advise Government and the new Regulator on rongoā matters under the Act. The group will be made up of Māori with experience and mātauranga of rongoā. Members will be appointed by the Minister of Health and Minister for Māori Development in consultation with other Ministers and health agencies.

The Committee is expected to:

  • create guidelines on matters related to rongoā and the application of the disapplication provision. The Regulator would have to use these guidelines in administering the disapplication provision.
  • provide advice to the Regulator to help with determining whether a person meets the definition of a rongoā practitioner or is engaging in an activity within the scope of the disapplication provision. The Regulator would need to consult with the Committee and consider its advice if a dispute arises in the application of this to a specific person.
  • provide advice to the Minister and Regulator on other matters related to rongoā, for example in relation to regulations excluding products from the definition of therapeutic products, and proposals to declare something a ‘prohibited product’.
Back to top