Draft National Ethical Standards for Health and Disability Research: Consultation document

Update: National Ethics Standards for Health and Disability Research - submissions now available

Summary of submissions 

NEAC extends their thanks to all of those who submitted and participated in meetings to support the public consultation of the National Ethics Advisory Committee’s National Ethics Standards for Health and Disability Research.

NEAC have produced a summary of submissions, and will continue to work directly with researchers, research organisations, the public and other government agencies to ensure that feedback is consistently understood and considered.

Next steps

NEAC will be developing a second draft over the coming months, and will consult with key stakeholders to ensure it is fit for purpose. NEAC aim to have a final copy of the Standards completed in late July 2019. 


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.

How to have your say

Consultation closed at 5 pm, 28 September 2018.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication
    24 July 2018
  • ISBN:
  • HP Number:
  • Citation:
    National Ethics Advisory Committee. 2018. Draft National Ethical Standards for Health and Disability Research: Consultation document. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering Information:
    Only soft copy available to download