Ethical Guidance for a Pandemic

Closed 1 Nov 2022

Opened 26 Jul 2022


The National Ethics Advisory Committee – Kāhui Matatika o te Motu (NEAC) is an independent advisor to the Minister of Health. NEAC has developed an update to its 2007 publication ‘Getting Through Together: Ethical Principles for a Pandemic’. The updated publication is called ‘Ethical Guidance for a Pandemic: Whakapuāwaitia e tatou kia puāwai tātoui’. This online survey is seeking your feedback on the draft publication.

NEAC wants to know if the ideas contained within the publication are shared ideas based on shared values. Contributions from all voices, individuals, communities and organisations are welcomed and encouraged. This consultation provides an opportunity to inform the ethical guidance for future pandemics in Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. You can submit on your own behalf or on behalf of an organisation. Your submissions will be taken into consideration by NEAC and may be used to make improvements to the draft publication before it is published.

The draft publication is separated into six chapters:

  • Chapter 1 outlines a shared foundational approach to responding to a pandemic.
  • Chapter 2 introduces a set of six ethical principles and a framework for decision-making in a pandemic.
  • Chapter 3 explores how these ethical principles might operate before a pandemic (readiness and reduction of risk).
  • Chapter 4 explores how these ethical principles might operate during a pandemic (response).
  • Chapter 5 explores how these ethical principles might operate after a pandemic (recovery).
  • Chapter 6 provides insight into what these ethical principles mean for New Zealanders with disabilities.

The survey follows these six chapters, with a final set of overarching and demographic questions. Page numbers are provided in the survey which correspond to the relevant pages of the draft publication. You can answer all of the survey questions or just a few – it is up to you. There are a combination of tick box and open-comment questions. The survey could take you 10 minutes, or it could take you longer if you have more that you would like to share.

NEAC recognises the devastating impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on people’s lives.  Contributing on this topic could therefore be an emotional or troubling experience for some. Contributions will be treated with dignity.

The submissions will be analysed by the NEAC Secretariat in the Ethics team at the Ministry of Health. By participating in this survey you are consenting for the NEAC Secretariat to share your submission with NEAC. Please note that survey submissions that are verbally abusive or target individuals may not be reviewed, and repeat submissions from one individual or group will only be counted once. You do not have to share any of your identifiable information.

The draft publication is available to download in Word or PDF at the bottom of this page. A hard copy of the draft publication can be made available on request.

If you have any questions about this consultation, please email them to the NEAC Secretariat at

Please make your submission by the closing date.

Draft Publication Download:
Word Version
PDF Version


  • Members of the public
  • Health sector
  • Public health decision makers


  • Ethics
  • COVID-19 response
  • Pandemics