Acupuncture is now big business in NZ

New Zealanders spend nearly $70 million a year on acupuncture treatments, new figures show.

v Source: Supplied

Acupuncture treatments in New Zealand are covered by ACC as long as the treatment is provided by a member of the NZ Register of Acupuncturists (NZRA) or the New Zealand Acupuncture Standards Authority (NZASA).

NZRA president Paddy McBride says ACC spent $24 million on acupuncture in the 2013/14 financial year.

"Add to this top-up charges that are additional to the ACC funding, and the fact that private patients comprise nearly 60% of our work, and the value of acupuncture treatments in New Zealand is nearly $70 million annually."

Ms McBride says a 2006 survey of NZ GPs found 86% considered acupuncture was beneficial and nearly 80% said that they would refer their patients for acupuncture treatment.

"The profession is growing rapidly here as it is throughout the rest of the western world. It is now possible for students to complete NZQA-approved Bachelor and Masters programmes here in New Zealand," she said.