Homeopathy in New Zealand

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Homeopathy practice is unregulated in New Zealand and homeopathic remedies are available at pharmacies, although there are calls to have them removed from sale.[1]

A small-scale survey of homeopathic practitioners of New Zealand in 2008 showed that they all claimed to be able to treat asthma and ear infections, and statements such as "hundreds of remedies for ear infections and asthma" and "homeopaths have a success rate nearing 80%" were made.[2]

Though large scale studies conducted across the world show that homeopathy is a pseudoscience and its remedies have been found to be no more effective than placebo.,[3][4][5] the New Zealand Medical Association does not oppose the use of alternative medical practices such as homeopathy if it can be shown that the patient can make an informed choice; however, this stance has been called unethical and may be in contravention of medical regulations.[6]

Belief and scepticism[edit]

The New Zealand Skeptics organisation took part in the international 1023 campaign in 2011. Protests were held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

A 2012 survey showed that 51% of the New Zealand population had some degree of belief that homeopathic remedies were scientifically proven.[7]

Absolutely certain it's true 4% Absolutely certain that it is not true 16%
Fairly certain it's true 14% Fairly certain it is not true 12%
Believe it but not too certain 16% Believe it's not true but not too certain 8%
Believe it but not at all certain 17% Believe it's not true but not for certain 13%
51% 49%


The Auckland Homeopathic Hospital, with Carl Fisher as superintendent, operated from 1858 to 1862. For a half-yearly report of 1859 a total of 34 patients out of 55 were claimed to have been cured.[8]

There are a number of training providers that teach homeopathy, and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority issues credits for homeopathy courses.[9]

The New Zealand Council of Homeopaths, formed in 1999, acts as an representative for the industry. It was formed by the amalgamation of New Zealand Homoeopathic Society, the New Zealand Institute of Classical Homeopathy and the New Zealand Accreditation Board of Natural Therapies.


The Commerce Commission, which administers the Fair Trading Act, has prosecuted companies for misleading claims about homeopathic products.

In 1997 SCI Natural (NZ) Ltd was to be prosecuted for claims that the Soft Seaweed Soap product would help people to lose weight. The Commerce Commission decided not to go ahead with the prosecution since a key individual had left New Zealand and the company went into liquidation.[10] A Tauranga-based couple who specialised in homoeopathic remedies pleaded guilty to 19 charges under the Fair Trading Act in 2008 for making misleading claims.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Call to remove homeopathics from shops". TVNZ. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  2. ^ Holt, Shaun (3 October 2008). "The responses of alternative practitioners when approached about common childhood illnesses". The New Zealand Medical Journal. New Zealand Medical Association. 121 (1283). ISSN 1175-8716. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Tuomela, R (1987). "Chapter 4: Science, Protoscience, and Pseudoscience". In Pitt, JC; Marcello, P. Rational Changes in Science: Essays on Scientific Reasoning. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. 98. Springer. pp. 83–101. doi:10.1007/978-94-009-3779-6_4. ISBN 978-94-010-8181-8. 
  4. ^ Smith, K (2012). "Homeopathy is unscientific and unethical". Bioethics. 26 (9): 508–12. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8519.2011.01956.x. 
  5. ^ Baran, GR; Kiana, MF; Samuel, SP (2014). "Chapter 2: Science, Pseudoscience, and Not Science: How Do They Differ?". Healthcare and Biomedical Technology in the 21st Century. Springer. pp. 19–57. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-8541-4_2. ISBN 978-1-4614-8540-7. within the traditional medical community it is considered to be quackery 
  6. ^ Holt, Shaun; Gilbey, Andrew; Colquhoun; David; Baum, Michael; Ernst, Edzard (15 April 2011). "Call for doctors not to practice homeopathy or refer to homeopaths". New Zealand Medical Journal. New Zealand Medical Association. 124 (1332): 87–88. ISSN 1175-8716. 
  7. ^ Anderson, Charles (22 January 2012). "Kiwis big believers in homeopathy". Sunday Star Times. 
  8. ^ "Page 2 Advertisements Column 6". Daily Southern Cross. 1 February 1859. p. 2. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  9. ^ "Qualifications - Search Results". Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  10. ^ "False claims that seaweed soap causes weight loss" (Press release). Commerce Commission. 17 August 1997. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "Bird flu remedy is quackery" (Press release). Commerce Commission. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 

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