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Important information about the use of Methoxyflurane

Dear MVLS Clubbies,


Methoxyflurane is a prescription-only medication, a controlled drug managed under the Ministry of Health, and is subject to the Medicines Act 1981 and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. Being a prescription-only medication, any member administering methoxyflurane must be suitably qualified AND authorised by the Medical Director for Surf Lifesaving New Zealand. We administer methoxyflurane under the direction of the Medical Director.

As part of a crackdown of nationwide inadequate methoxyflurane administration, Andy Kent (SLSNZ National Lifesaving Manager) and Dr Gary Payinda (SLSNZ Medical Director) had a meeting with the club First Aid Officers.

A single process exists for suitably qualified club members to be authorised to administer methoxyflurane and is mapped out in the attached SLSNZ Policy statement LS037 (2017).


Any member wishing to be authorised to administer methoxyflurane “must be currently refreshed Advanced Surf First Aid (Surf First Aid Level 3) qualified lifeguards who have attended the Pain relief module and therefore have been registered as competent in the administration of analgesia…” and submit the completed attached form Application to Administer methoxyflurane to for vetting by the Club Executive. Doing the course does not automatically give you the authority to administer.


Presently, we have TWO current authorised MVLS members, with a couple more to come shortly.


  1. Unless you have received written authorisation either directly from SLSNZ, or via Muriwai VLS, YOU ARE NOT TO administer methoxyflurane – it is illegal.

  2. All authorised members who do administer methoxyflurane must send the Methoxyflurane Usage Form AND the Patient Incident Form - not doing this is also illegal.


If we as a club are in breach of these requirements, we will have methoxyflurane taken off us. All clubs have been warned. We have the potential to have a number of other drugs authorised for use in the future.


I have attached the Methoxyflurane Usage Form and the SLSNZ Policy Statement to the doses of methoxyflurane in the drug cabinet for future use so we shouldn’t forget. Please let me know by email or text if you use any. They will not replenish stocks until the paperwork for the previous usage is filed.

I will also be changing the code to the drug safe as it has not been changed in a long time. I will give the new code to those who are authorised.

Further important information and Application Form to administer Methoxyflurane for Download below.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Andy Kent, or Dr Payinda directly.


Laurice Sciarone, MVLS First-aid officer, email:

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