Hutt at Heart
Person giving someone else a tattoo

Concern over minimum standards for the appearance industry driving change

Tattoo shops, beauty salons, cosmetic clinics, spas, nail clinics and skin piercing businesses in Lower Hutt are to be asked for their views on a new bylaw which would set health and safety standards for the appearance industry. A move that is being welcomed by Regional Public Health, and many in the industry including the New Zealand Association of Registered Beauty Professionals and the New Zealand Sterile Sciences Association.

The proposed “Appearance Industry Bylaw” would cover businesses where there is no regulation currently. It would not apply to health care facilities, registered medical practitioners, registered acupuncturists, or pharmacies as these services are already subject to industry and professional standards.

“Unlike many countries there is no law in New Zealand that regulates the appearance industry. It is up to councils to set minimum standards in regulations that apply to the businesses operating in their local authority,” says Dean Bentley Environmental Team Leader Hutt City Council.

“While many businesses have good policies and practices to prevent clients getting infections or cuts, others do not. In some situations operators are not aware that the way they have been doing things is no longer best practice and potentially puts people at risk. We need to look at setting standards that protect customers so they can feel confident in the services they are purchasing,” says Bentley.

The proposed bylaw would assist in promoting and protecting public health by requiring people and premises providing appearance services to comply with minimum standards for sterilisation and hygiene. These requirements would reduce the risk of injury, transference of communicable diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV/Aids, viral, bacterial or fungal skin or wound infections. The bylaw would also outline a licencing process involving inspection and certification by Council’s environmental health team.

To assist with the development of the bylaw a ‘pre-consultation’ phase is currently running until 31 May 2019. This allows Hutt City Council to consider feedback before drafting a bylaw which would be formally consulted on.

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