The New Zealand Ethics Committee is an ethics advisory committee serving any social researcher not eligible for ethics review from the standing ethics committees for tertiary institutions or the health and disability sector.  Many research projects from professional, community and government researchers fall outside this narrow realm of university or health research.

Members of the New Zealand Ethics Committee are volunteers with significant research and ethical review experience. The Committee meets monthly using either telephone conferencing or email.  Applications are sent to reviewers on the fifteenth of any month and applicants can expect to be sent review comments within 10 to 14 days after that. Submit all queries and applications to Sue Fish, NZEC administrator, at nzethicscommittee@xtra.co.nz.

The application form is to be found at NZEC-Application Form Version 4 May 2016.

No researcher is mandated to submit his or her application to NZEC: it is a voluntary practice and an application may be withdrawn at any time. There is no ethical review fee for community researchers and not for profit organizations.

The New Zealand Ethics Committee is a registered Charity entity #CC50073.  It received initial sponsorship from a grant from the Ministry of Social Development. Currently NZEC is supported with a generous grant from the Tindall Foundation.

NZEC is operated by New Zealand Ethics Limited, a non-profit charity, founded in 2008 by former Health and Disability Ethics Committee chairs. NZ Ethics Ltd is committed to using their collective experience to build an ethics infrastructure in NZ complementary to the university and health sector ethics review systems.  NZEC is one example of their planned activities.  Others are facilitating interactive conferences, workshops and meetings designed to engender a greater level of dialogue between researchers and ethics committees in New Zealand.

Application Fee for Government Agencies and Commercial Organisations

NZEC growth has been exponential and a fee has become necessary for some applications.  The Committee reviewed 22 applications in 2014 and 51 in 2015. It expects to review 80 applications in 2016.  In order to accommodate this growth and until a sustainable funding source can be set in place, NZEC has implemented a review fee of $500 per application for government and commercial organisations. To avoid any conflict of interest, this fee is to be made prior to the review commencing. There is no charge for applications from community organisations and similar groups.

NZEC Code of Ethics

The New Zealand Ethics Committee adheres to the Royal Society of New Zealand Code of Professional Standards and Ethics in Science, Technology, and the Humanities  http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/organisation/about/code (see especially “Part 2: Principles”).