Auckland Council has introduced a bylaw that requires commercial services that risk breaking, burning or piercing the skin to be licensed.
The health and hygiene bylaw, which comes into force tomorrow, is expected to put stricter controls on Auckland's health and beauty businesses.
It covers tanning clinics, tattoo parlours and nail or hair removal services. Concern about substandard practices in nail bars and the ongoing use of risky sunbeds were the prompt, Mervyn Chetty, the council's manager of environmental health, said.
In a New Zealand first, commercial sunbed businesses in the Auckland region must not only be licensed but must also comply with a new code of practice which includes restricting the treatment to those 18 years and over.
Chetty said the bylaw would provide consumers with an assurance that such businesses met health regulations.
"The public should also look out for evidence of qualifications, as minimum training standards are also required for most of these services," he said.
John Loof, chief executive of the Cancer Society Auckland, said it was heartening to see Auckland Council leading the way for the rest of the country.
"Sunbeds have been shown to increase the risk of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer and regulating and restricting their use is a great step forward."