Regulatory Reform Minister Rodney Hide says law changes coming into effect on 1 August will give consumers greater choice of health products and cut unnecessary costs for business.
The minister says everyday products such as fluoride toothpastes, anti-dandruff shampoo and nappy-rash and acne creams will no longer come under the same controls as prescription medicines.
He says, until now, many health products freely sold in other countries have been unavailable in New Zealand.
Other changes will allow everyday medicines, such as cough and cold remedies and travel sickness products, to be sold through vending machines.
Mr Hide says health regulation is obviously necessary to control risky substances but the old rules were ridiculous.