Latest updates

The COVID-19 Emergency Response: Ethical Review Operating Procedures (eSOP)

24 March 2020

The COVID-19 Emergency Response: Ethical Review Operating Procedures (eSOP) is now live to guide and assist in the ethical review of research specific to or affected by the COVID-19 response.

We ask all researchers who submit a COVID-19 related application (new study or a post approval form related to a currently approved study) through Online Forms to also notify us of submission via the HDEC email ( with the following wording in the subject line ‘COVID -19 new study’ or ‘COVID-19 Amendment’. This will allow the Secretariat to easily identify and triage applications to the correct pathway.

The eSOP will not apply to research not related to or impacted by COVID-19.

To assist with the expected increase in workload the Ethics Secretariat will no longer be providing the scope of review service. However, this policy will be reviewed monthly. If you are not sure if your research sits within the scope of HDEC review, please consult your institution’s research office or complete and submit an ethics application via the Online Forms portal for HDEC consideration.

For all other correspondence please limit email and phone calls to urgent queries only. Please contact the Ethics Team on 0800 4 ETHIC (08004 38442 or +64 4 819 6877 from outside New Zealand). HDEC email:

Please be aware that the Ethics Secretariat will not be working in the office for the foreseeable future, given that we are now at Level 3 of the COVID-19 Response. Please be patient when waiting for a response. Our 0800 number is operational but will be diverted to a cell phone.  

HDEC and the COVID-19 response
19 March 2020

High level of demand for secretariat services
24 February 2020

HDEC implementation of the new National Ethical Standards
31 January 2020

HDEC Secretariat Availability for 20-24 January 2020
16 January 2020

The revised National Ethical Standards for Health and Disability Research and Quality Improvement are live
19 December 2019

How do I apply for HDEC review?

All applications to HDECs must be submitted through the Online Forms website. This site allows you to answer questions in the HDEC application form, upload documents, request electronic signatures from other parties involved in your research, and track the progress of your application. For more information, check the section HDEC review and approvals: