Submissions on this consultation have now closed.
The National Ethics Advisory Committee (NEAC) is an independent advisor to the Minister of Health. NEAC was established in 2001 under 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.
Reviewing the ethical guidelines
In 2015 NEAC committed to review the 2012 Ethical Guidelines for Intervention Studies and Ethical Guidelines for Observational Studies: Observational Research, Audits and Related Activities. The Ministry of Health set up a working party to review the 2012 guidelines and develop new standards determined by NEAC.
This work aligns with the Health Research Strategy 2017, which addresses investment and strengthening health research in New Zealand, particularly focusing on reducing inequity and improving health outcomes. The ethical guidelines also a 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 the protection and safety of research participants.
Consulting on the draft ethical standards
The Draft National Ethics Standards for Health and Disability Research sets out the established ethical standards that apply to all health and disability research in New Zealand.
The draft standards are mostly targeted at individual researchers but are also useful to ethics committees, research sponsors and for training and educating researchers.
NEAC has reviewed the draft standards and now seeks the views and feedback of the public.