In 2015 the National Ethics Advisory Committee (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(external link), 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

NEAC sought the views and feedback of the public on the Draft National Ethics Standards for Health and Disability Research, which set 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.

Consultation closed at 5 pm, 28 September 2018.

Summary of submissions 

NEAC produced a summary of submissions following the consultation on the draft standards.

Final standards

The final National Ethical Standards for Health and Disability Research and Quality Improvement were published in December 2019. We thank all those who made submissions for their valuable input in developing these Standards.

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