The New Zealand Commission of Inquiry


Another particularly significant study of chiropractic was conducted by the New Zealand Commission of Inquiry. In its 377-page report to the House of Representatives, the Commission states that their report followed an extended (two-year) inquiry which at that time was “probably the most comprehensive and detailed independent examination of chiropractic ever undertaken in any country.” Excerpts from the Commission’s report follow:

“We entered into our inquiry in early 1978. We had no clear idea what might emerge. We knew little about chiropractors. None of us had undergone any personal experience of chiropractic treatment. If we had any general impression of chiropractic it was probably that shared by many in the community: that chiropractic was an unscientific cult, not to be compared with orthodox medical or paramedical services. We might well have thought that chiropractors were people with perhaps a strong urge for healing, who had for some reason not been able to get into a field recognized by orthodox medicine and who had found an outlet outside the fringes of orthodoxy.

“But as we prepared ourselves for this inquiry it became apparent that much lay beneath the surface of these apparently simple terms of reference. In the first place it transpired that for many years chiropractors had been making strenuous efforts to gain recognition and acceptance as members of the established health care team. Secondly, it was clear that organized medicine the New Zealand was adamantly opposed to this on a variety of grounds which appeared logical and responsible. Thirdly, however, it became only too plain that the argument had been going on ever since chiropractic was developed as an individual discipline in the late 1800’s, and that in the years between then and now the debate had generated considerable more heat than light.

“By the end of the of the inquiry we found ourselves irresistibly and with complete unanimity drawn to the conclusion that modern chiropractic is a soundly-based and valuable branch of the health care in a specialized area…”