The Assisted Dying Secretariat in the Ministry of Health oversees the service and provides support throughout the process.
The Assisted Dying Secretariat, within the Ministry of Health, is responsible for overseeing the assisted dying service. This includes ensuring the service is person-centred, equitable and accessible, and that there are appropriate safeguards in place for the people and practitioners involved.
The Secretariat can be contacted by emailing [email protected] or calling freephone 0800 223 852.
Supporting the process
Clinical advisors in the Secretariat provide information and support to help a person and their whānau navigate the assisted dying process, as well as the involved practitioners. These clinical advisors are registered nurses.
Part of their role is connecting people to health practitioners who provide assisted dying services. For example, if a person’s usual doctor does not provide assisted dying services, or for the second independent assessment. These practitioners are drawn from the lists held by the Support and Consultation for End of Life in NZ (SCENZ) Group.
Registrar (assisted dying)
The Registrar (assisted dying) is also part of the Secretariat. The role of the Registrar is an important safeguard that is outlined in the Act. They must check that the processes required by the Act have been complied with before the assisted death can take place. They can also investigate complaints.
The Secretariat has a work programme in place with a number of workstreams to monitor and improve the service over time. These include stakeholder and sector engagement, consumer information, data collection and reporting, and workforce and training.