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Celebrating 100 years of legal recognition

Masseurs Registration Act 1920 (commenced 1921)

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Masseurs Registration Act 1920 (MRA) – the legislation that first recognised physical therapy as a regulated occupation.

The Act was in place until 1949 when it was superseded by the Physiotherapy Act 1949, which was in turn, replaced by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA Act) that regulates the profession today.

This year the Board will be celebrating this milestone with stories of the profession and the people who are part of it.


We talked to the Board Chair and practising physiotherapist Janice Mueller and started by asking her why we are celebrating this milestone.

We also spoke with Professor Dave Nicholls about why this moment was important and what it has meant for the profession. You can also download an mp3 podcast version of Dave’s interview here.

In April, we spoke with Board Deputy Chair Professor David Baxter about New Zealand’s influence in the changing role of physiotherapists toward a focus on autonomous practice.