The Dietitians Act of 1950 was designed to further the advancement of the knowledge of nutrition and dietetics, and to make provision for the training and registration of dietitians. A Dietitians Board set up under the Act determines courses of training, approves places of training, conducts examinations, authorises registration, and exercises disciplinary powers.
A person wishing to train as a dietitian must obtain one of the prerequisite qualifications, and then take a course of training of not less than 12 months at a Dietitians' Training School. Any such person must: (a) Hold a degree in home science; or (b) Hold a diploma of associate in home science; or (c) Being a registered nurse, and holding an endorsed School Certificate or some other certificate approved by the Board, spend two academic years at the School of Home Science.
There are Dietitians' Training Schools at the Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin Hospitals. After completing the course of training, candidates must pass a State examination.
In 1964 there were 82 dietitians with practising certificates, and the majority are employed in hospitals.
The Department has advisory dietitians who are available to assist hospital dietitians and others requesting help.