The New Zealand Law Foundation-sponsored Human Genome Research Project was a multi-disciplinary, 3-year project that analysed the pros and cons of regulating human genome-based technologies in New Zealand.
Rapid advances in genetics create dilemmas for medicine, ethics and the law. New knowledge and discoveries from genetics raise questions about clinical applications that will inevitably have economic implications and generate wider cultural and social questions. The range of appropriate responses need to be based on deep and coherent ethical, legal and public policy consideration of the issues.
First year of research
Research in the first year of the project looked into issues relating to preimplantation genetic diagnosis. The project team carried out a systematic investigation of the issues and published a report that was launched on 1 August 2006 at Parliament's Grand Hall.
Second year of research
Research in the second year concentrated on issues around preimplantation genetic diagnosis and other areas, including newborn genetic screening, genetic testing of children, community genetics, and microarray technologies. The role of public consultation in reproductive technologies was also explored. The report for the second year of the project was published in 2007.
Third year of research
In the third year of the project, research was undertaken in the areas of patenting, pharmacogenetics and privacy. Issues about the regulation of extracted DNA and the responsibility of researchers were examined. Research also continued on work carried out in previous years. The report for the third year of the project was published in 2008.
The work of the Human Genome Research Project continues under the direction of the New Zealand Law Foundation (NZLF) Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies.
Project Leader: Professor Mark Henaghan
Project Manager: Richman Wee, LLM
Bioethics - Professor Don Evans
Clinical Genetics - Professor Stephen Robertson
Science - Dr Ian Morison, Dr Tony Merriman
Māori - Mr Bevan Tipene-Matua (Canterbury Polytechnic Institute of Technology)
United Kingdom - Institute of Law and Ethics in Medicine, University of Glasgow (Director: Professor Sheila McLean)
United States - Stanford Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford University (Associate Director: Associate Professor Mildred Cho)
Law - Professor Nicola Peart, Professor Paul Roth, Jacinta Ruru
Bioethics - Professor Grant Gillett
Bioethics/Clinical Genetics - Dr Nikki Kerruish
Law - Aphra Green, LLM candidate, LLB (Hons, First Class), Deborah Lawson, PhD candidate, LLB BA (Philosophy), Jeanne Snelling, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law.
Bioethics - Dana Wensley, PhD, MA (Distinction)(London), LLB (Hons)(Auckland), Mike King, PhD
Public Health - Dr Geraldine Hill, MBChB, DPH (Distinction)
Science - Dr Genevieve Matthews
Māori - Benita Wakefield
Past Research Assistants:
Administrative and secretarial support principally provided by:
Members of the Advisory Review Committee for the project were eminent leaders and experts in law, ethics, health research and genetics. The committee played a key role in advising the New Zealand Law Foundation about the shape and direction of the project. Advisory Review Committee members were appointed by the New Zealand Law Foundation.
Hon Justice James Bruce Robertson
Court of Appeal, New Zealand
Hon Justice Michael Donald Kirby
High Court of Australia
Professor Colin Mantell
Tumuaki and Head of the Department (retired Feb 2005)
Māori and Pacific Island Health
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
University of Auckland
Professor Ingrid Winship
Adult Clinical Genetics, University of Melbourne, and
Research Director, Melbourne Health, Royal Melbourne Hospital
Tel 64 3 479 8857
Fax 64 3 479 8855
Faculty of Law
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Faculty of Law
University of Otago
85 Albany Street
9th Floor, Richardson Building