A warning has been issued after two underground tattooists in
Dunedin were shut down over the past month for operating from
In one case, the person had bought their equipment online,
watched a "how-to" video clip on the internet and began
That had the potential for all sorts of health concerns,
Dunedin City Council environmental health team leader Ros
MacGill said yesterday.
Council staff became aware of one of the operations after it
was advertised on a social media website and were tipped off
about the other one by a registered tattooist, she said.
Both businesses were operating from private homes.
Anyone caught operating in an unregistered premises can face
a $5000 fine and a $50-a-day penalty for every day they
continue to operate without being registered.
In this case, both Dunedin operations were given a warning
and ceased operating immediately, Ms MacGill said.
The council had previously come across underground tattooists
in Dunedin, but it was not a regular occurrence.
Tattooists were required to be registered under the council's
beauticians, tattooists and skin piercers bylaw, which
requires premises to be inspected annually and provides
The bylaw aimed to prevent the transfer of communicable
diseases such as hepatitis B and C, HIV/Aids and bacterial
skin infections, she said.
"Our concern is that contamination of equipment such as
needles, lack of general hygiene in the premises and poor
individual hygiene practices on the part of the operator all
have the potential to transfer disease and infection."
The council's registration system operated in a similar
fashion to the one used for food premises, and premises that
met requirements were issued with a certificate they were
required to display where clients could see it.
Seven registered tattooists were operating in the city, she
Dunedin tattooists yesterday said the underground tattoo
scene in the city was growing.
Some believed there could be as many as 30 people operating
from Dunedin homes.
They said the increase was largely because cheap equipment
could be bought online and television shows on tattooing were
whetting people's appetite to try it.
"People think they can watch a few shows and be a tattooist.
They think it's a rock star lifestyle," one said.