Announcement on the National Ethics Advisory Committee

6 April 2017

The Ministry of Health has placed a temporary hold on recruitment to the National Ethics Advisory Committee (NEAC). This decision will impact on the ability of the Committee to deliver some aspects of its work programme. The Ministry is working on alternative approaches to manage NEAC’s projects in this interim period. This decision has been discussed with the Associate Minister of Health, who in turn has discussed it with the Acting Chair of NEAC.

The temporary hold on vacancies within the current Committee is in place while the Ministry undertakes a review of NEAC’s activities in respect to its role in research in New Zealand, aligned with the release of New Zealand’s first Health Research Strategy later this year. This includes a review of the oversight of both NEAC and the four national Health and Disability Ethics Committees, the Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology and the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology.

These reviews will ensure that ethical oversight of research and health services, including assisted reproductive technologies will continue to be provided to international and New Zealand legislative standards.

In the interim, the Strategy and Policy and Protection, Regulation and Assurance business units within the Ministry will continue to provide support to the four Health and Disability Ethics Committees (HDECs) and to work collaboratively to ensure that NEAC and HDECs are constituted and supported effectively and efficiently.