Piercing, Tattooing and Beauty services

​​​​​Tattoo atrist working on lady back neck.​From a health perspective, any skin-piercing - including tattooing, ear and nose piercing - can be risky.

Tattooing and piercing can be a way of transmitting viruses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Aids (HIV), which are sometimes referred to as BBV’s (Blood Borne Viruses). However, with good hygiene practices in place, these risks can largely be prevented.


Tattoos are permanent ink designs on the skin. They are created using a tattooing needle, which penetrates the skin to apply black or coloured inks. The needle is usually mounted in a frame which is electromagnetically activated so the needle oscillates backwards and forwards as it enters the skin.Tattoo atrist working on lady left hand.

If you are considering getting a tattoo, there are definitely certain things to consider first. Tattoos can be removed, but this is very expensive and your skin will never be the same. 

Most importantly, make sure the right person is doing the tattoo. If you are unsure about whether or not they are specifically qualified or experienced enough to tattoo, and whether or not they have registration requirements, please contact us​.

Keep well away from ‘back yarders’. Most commercial operators support some sort of registration process as this prevents unqualified people entering the market. 

Body piercing (including ear piercing)

Body piercings are holes in different parts of the body (for eg, ear lobes, nose, eyebrow) made so jewellery can be worn. The holes are made with a piercing needle or gun, and they can leave a scar.

If you are getting your ears pierced with a stud gun, make sure it is a sterile, single-use, cartridge model. Make sure the body artist meets the same requirements as for any other body piercing.

stud guns are designed for ear lobes only. Do not allow anyone to pierce any other part of your body with a stud gun.

Beauty service​s

Female beauty therapist is applying make up to a another female in chair. Beauty service procedures e.g. waxing, footbaths can result in risks to the public including bacterial diseases, blood poisoning, loss of toes, and flesh eating (fasciitis).             

The New Zealand Association of Registered Beauty Therapists produce Health and Hygiene Guidelines for operators. These are updated regularly. To view the guidelines please visit NZ Association of Registered Beauty Therapists​ website​.

Complaints about beauty services can be taken to the association if the provider is registered with them. Otherwise, members of the public can take complaints to the Health and Disability ​​​​Commission​.

If you have concerns or want more information

If you have any doubt about the hygiene practices being performed locally for tattooing, body piercings or beauty services, contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer on 03 433 0300.

For more information on tattooing and body piercing, please refer to the following links: 

Page reviewed: 03 Apr 2017 3:40pm