Consultation on the Draft National Ethics Standards for Health and Disability Research

Closed 28 Sep 2018

Opened 24 Jul 2018


The National Ethics Advisory Committee (NEAC) is an independent advisor to the Minister of Health. NEAC was established in 2001 by section 16 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.

The National Ethics Advisory Committee’s statutory functions are to:

  • provide advice to the Minister of Health on ethical issues of national significance in respect of any health and disability matters (including research and health services)
  • determine nationally consistent ethical standards across the health and disability sector and provide scrutiny for national health research and health services.

In 2015 NEAC committed to a review of the 2012 Ethical Guidelines for Intervention Studies and Ethical Guidelines for Observational Studies: Observational Research, Audits and Related Activities. In order to review the 2012 guidelines and develop new standards determined by NEAC, the Ministry of Health established a Working Party to create a first draft.

This work was aligned with the Health Research Strategy 2017, which contained commitments to address investment and strengthening of health research in New Zealand, particularly with the focus of reducing inequity and improving health outcomes. The guidelines also form part of a general strengthening of the regulatory environment for health research, as the Therapeutic Products Bill recognises that ethics is an integral part of research conduct, resulting in protection and safety of participants in research.

The National Ethics Standards for Health and Disability Research draft set out the established ethical standards that apply to all health and disability research in New Zealand. The Standards are primarily targeted at individual researchers but they are also of use to ethics committees, research sponsors and for training and educating researchers.

NEAC has reviewed the draft Standards and seeks now the views and feedback of the public.

Due to a number of requests for late submissions the deadline for submission has been extended until 28 September 2018.

What Happens Next

Thank you for your submission.

Consultation has now closed.

Over the consultation period officials held a series of public meetings and focus group discussions. Submissions on the public consultation closed on 28 September 2018.

NEAC are currently analysing the written submissions and feedback received from consultation meetings.

A summary of submissions will be released once analysis has completed.



  • Members of the public
  • Health sector
  • Disability sector
  • Ministry staff
  • Pharmaceutical companies


  • Research