14 Apr 2009

Maori input needed in regulating natural health products - Greens

8:34 pm on 14 April 2009

The Green Party says Maori need to have representation on a proposed board for regulating natural health products.

Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons told Waatea News the Greens and National have agreed to develop a regulatory system for natural health products that is specific to New Zealand.

She said a trans-Tasman model proposed by the previous Government would not have factored in rongoa (medicinal) Maori protocols.

A medicinal Maori practitioner, Debbie Chase-Paterson, says she's delighted New Zealand will have its own regulatory system.

Ms Chase-Paterson from Tauranga says she hopes the system will allow herbalists to tell patients more about the natural medicines they are recommending.

She says a system allowing the benefits of products to be listed on packaging, which is currently prohibited by Medsafe, is long overdue.