In April 2023, NEAC wrote to the Minister of Health to raise concerns about the low levels of membership that Health and Disability Ethics Committees (HDECs) are operating under. These committees secure for New Zealand and New Zealanders the benefits of health and disability research by checking that it meets or exceeds established ethical standards. Without a quorum of appropriate members, New Zealand’s health and disability research sector cannot function and is increasingly at risk.

NEAC advised the Minister to formally appoint more technical experts through the appointments process before the election shut down period, and for additional appointments to be made to the HDECs to ensure the research system can continue functioning smoothly through to 2024.

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