PacLII Home | Databases | WorldLII | Search | Feedback

Pacific Islands Treaty Series

You are here:  PacLII >> Databases >> Pacific Islands Treaty Series >> 1946 >> [1946] PITSE 2

Database Search | Name Search | Recent Documents | Noteup | LawCite | Download | Help

Agreement for the Establishment of a South Pacific Health Service Made Between the Government of New Zealand, in respect of the New Zealand Island Territories including Western Samoa, the Government of Fiji and the Western Pacific High Commission [1946] PITSE 2 (7 September 1946)


(Wellington, 7 September 1946)


THE GOVERNMENT OF FIJI, THE WESTERN PACIFIC HIGH COMMISSION, AND THE GOVERNMENT OF NEW ZEALAND (IN RESPECT OF THE NEW ZEALAND ISLAND TERRITORIES, INCLUDING WESTERN SAMOA) hereby agree to combine for the more effective protection of the health of the people in the Territories under their administration.

2. There is hereby established a Board to be known as the South Pacific Board of Health (hereinafter referred to as the Board).

3. The Board shall consist of:

(a) A Chief Administrative Officer known as the Inspector-General, South Pacific Health Service (hereinafter referred to as the Inspector-General), who shall be a medical practitioner appointed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies in consultation with the Government of New Zealand and who shall be Chairman of the Board.

(b) The Director of Medical Services, Fiji, or (whenever the same person holds office as Inspector-General and as Director of Medical Services, Fiji) a person nominated by the Governor of Fiji.

(c) The Director-General of the Department of Health, New Zealand, or his representative.

(d) The Director, Division of Nursing of the Department of Health, New Zealand, or her representative.

(e) A person appointed by the High Commissioner for the Western Pacific.

(f) A representative of the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation if the Foundation desires such representation at any time.

  1. (a) Meetings of the Board shall be held at such times and places as the Board or the Chairman may from time to time determine, provided that such meetings shall be held at intervals not exceeding twelve months in any case and that at least each alternate meeting shall be held in Suva,

(b) At all such meetings four members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, provided that one member present shall be a representative of New Zealand.

(c) At any meeting of the Board the Chairman shall have a deliberative vote and in case of equality of votes shall also have a casting vote. At any such meeting the decision of the majority of members present shall be the decision of the Board.

5. The headquarters of the Board shall be located in Suva.

6. The Board shall have the power to establish and maintain office premises of its own and shall employ a Secretary and such clerical and other office staff as it may from time to time deem necessary.

7. The functions of the Board shall be: -

(a) To advise the participating Administrations on all health matters within their territories.

(b) To collect information in regard to the incidence of disease within the Territories of the participating Administrations and to ensure transmission of relevant information to the participating Administrations.

(c) To draw up a standard code for quarantine procedures for the guidance of the participating Administrations.

(d) To assist the participating Administrations in maintaining adequate medical, nursing and sanitary staff.

(e) To nominate a person or persons to act on behalf of the Board in selecting candidates for appointments to the South Pacific Health Service.

(f ) To encourage, co-ordinate and if necessary initiate medical research within the Territories of the participating Administrations.

(g) To advise the participating Administrations in all matters relating to the training of Native Medical Practitioners, Nurses, Sanitary Inspectors, Technicians and auxiliary health personnel.

(h) To make recommendations to the participating Administrations as regards conditions of service, including salary scales, of all grades of medical and health personnel.

(i) Generally to carry out such inquiries and to do all such things or acts as in the opinion of the Board are necessary for the purpose of assisting the participating Administrations in the more effective control of disease and promotion of health within their Territories.

  1. (a) The Inspector-General shall be the chief executive officer of the Board.

(b) For the purposes of his personal service, pay and discipline he shall be subject to the authority of the Governor of Fiji and the High Commissioner for the Western Pacific, who is the representative of the Secretary of State for the Colonies.

(c) In the discharge of his duties as Inspector-General of the South Pacific Health Service he shall exercise his functions in equal measure over the Territories of all participating Administrations and shall not be regarded as the special officer of any single Administration.

(d) He shall visit the Territories of the participating Administrations at regular intervals and on request at any time and shall generally keep himself personally familiar with the medical and health problems of such Territories.

(e) Subject to the general direction of the Board he shall arrange for the transfer or temporary secondment of medical and health personnel to the Territories of the participating Administrations, or upon the request of a local Administration for the replacement of any such personnel.

(f) He shall consult with the Director-General, Department of Health, New Zealand, in regard to the requirements of New Zealand nurses for service in the Territories of the participating Administrations and shall obtain his advice on all matters relating to the terms and conditions of service and the posting of such nurses within such Territories.

(g) He shall carry out all necessary inquiries into the work and conduct of officers seconded for service with the participating Administrations and where disciplinary action is involved shall report the facts to the appropriate authority for necessary action. Conversely, when any Administration considers that disciplinary action is necessary they will refer the full facts of the case to the Inspector-General for his opinion before final action is taken.

(h) He shall obtain regular returns of infectious disease from the participating Territories together with such other reports as may be necessary and he shall ensure that such information is transmitted to the Board and to all the Administrations of the participating Territories.

(i) He shall establish and maintain the necessary contact with Regional Health Bureaux.

(j) He shall from time to time prepare such special reports on any medical, health and allied problems as the Board may require or as at his discretion he may deem necessary.

(k) He shall be responsible for the preparation of estimates of expenditure in connexion with the secretariat and all other activities sponsored by the Board; he shall present these for the approval of the Board at least once a year and at a time which will meet the administrative requirements of the participating Administrations.

(l) He shall ensure that action taken, and recommendations made, by the Board are brought to the notice of all Administrations concerned.

9. This agreement is entered into on the following assumptions:-

(a) That the Government of Fiji will proceed at an early date with its plans for a Medical Centre in Fiji including a new Central Medical School and Nurses Training School.

(b) That the Government of New Zealand and its Tropical Island Dependencies, including Western Samoa, will continue to make full use of the Central Medical School for the training of Native Medical Practitioners and the Central Leper Hospital for the treatment of lepers.

(c) That the Tropical Island Dependencies of New Zealand, including Western Samoa, will continue to train Native Nurses in their local hospitals and will send only a limited number of such nurses for special courses in the Nurses Training School, Suva.

(d) That the Board will provide a pool of Medical Officers based on the headquarters of the South Pacific Health Service in Suva from which the participating Administrations will draw their 'Medical Officers on a system of transfer or temporary secondment. The pool will be regarded as that quota of Medical Officers, which, in the opinion of the Board, with the concurrence of the Administrations concerned, is necessary to provide an adequate health service. Medical Officers will be appointed to the South Pacific Health Service for duty in the first instance in the territory in which their services are required with liability to transfer or temporary secondment to other territories at the direction of the Inspector-General.

(e) That the pool of Medical Officers will in part be recruited from New Zealand on a basis of short-term appointments and in part on secondment from the Colonial Medical Service. It is understood that Medical Officers on short-term appointments may be appointed to the Colonial Medical Service if they so desire and are accepted for such appointment. Provided that any participating Administration shall always remain free to appoint to its own health service any medical officer or any other member of its health staff who, or either of whose parents, was born within the jurisdiction of that Administration.

(f) The Administration in which the officer is serving at any time will be responsible for the full costs involved including salary, travelling allowances, leave, pension contribution, etc. In the case of first appointment, transfer or secondment the receiving administration will be responsible for transport charges.

(g) That so long as Fiji and the other Territories continue as at present to draw upon New Zealand for nurses, the pool of nurses will remain based on New Zealand and the secondment of nurses will be arranged by the Director, Division of Nursing, New Zealand, in consultation with the Inspector-General.

(h) That the scheme in the first instance will be limited to the territories listed in the Appendix to this agreement but that it should be capable of extension at any time so as to include other Pacific Island territories.

10. This agreement is provisional and subject to review in the light of discussions taking place at the time of signature with the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia regarding the possibility of participation by that Government in the South Pacific Health Service.

The Agreement shall, in any event, be reviewed at the expiry of a period of two years from the date of signature.

Accepted for and on behalf of the
Government of New Zealand
in respect of the New Zealand
island territories specified in
the Appendix hereto,
this 7th day of September 1946.
Peter Fraser


Accepted for and on behalf of the
Government of Fiji and of the
Western Pacific territories specified
in the Appendix hereto,
this 7th day of September 1946
A. G. Grantham




Territories to which the Agreement Applies

1. Colony of Fiji

2. Western Pacific Territories –
Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony
British Solomon Islands Protectorate

3. New Zealand Island Territories -
Western Samoa
Cook Islands

PacLII: Copyright Policy | Disclaimers | Privacy Policy | Feedback