Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

The University of Otago and Vida Law are pleased to confirm that the post-graduate focused course will be held in Wellington from 28 August to 1 September 2023.

This course is designed specifically for senior clinicians, board members, chief executives and managers working in the New Zealand health and disability sector.

Enrolment is also open to postgraduate law students and practising lawyers with an interest in the field of health law.

2023 dates

Monday 28 August to Friday 1 September 2023

Register your interest now at

2023 Health Law Intensive Course – Enrolment Form (PDF)

What to expect

The course will consist of 5 full days of intensive teaching. Each day will include lectures, case studies, and small group work, addressing the most important legal issues and challenges faced by the health and disability sector.

Numbers are limited, to allow plenty of interaction with presenters and other participants.

Participants will be expected to prepare for the course with pre-course reading.

Who should attend?

You will benefit from this course if you are working in a senior role in the health and disability sector. In particular you should consider attending if you:

  • Practise as a clinical director/leader or otherwise as a senior clinician in the New Zealand health and disability sector.
  • Serve as a board member, chief executive, or senior manager of a health and disability sector organisation.
  • Have worked as a senior clinician or manager in the health and disability sector in an overseas jurisdiction and wish to develop your knowledge of New Zealand health law.
  • Are undertaking vocational training with any of the Royal Australasian Colleges.
  • Are considering studying towards a postgraduate qualification.

Course overview (with examples of topics covered)

Download the overview and course details (PDF)

Day 1: Health systems and the law

  • Introduction to New Zealand's legal system
  • The public health and disability sector
  • New Zealand's no-fault compensation scheme
  • Civil and criminal liability relating to the provision of health and disability services in New Zealand
  • Health sector funding, procurements and contracting
  • Compulsory assessment and treatment

Day 2: Health consumers and the law

  • Promoting and protecting patients' rights under the Code of Rights
  • Duty of care
  • Informed consent
  • Advance directives
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Healthcare decision making in the absence of consent
  • Healthcare decisions by and for children

Day 3: Health practitioners and the law

  • Key principles of employment law
  • Pay equity
  • Ensuring workplace health and safety
  • Managing concerns about health, competence, or conduct of health practitioners
  • Human rights and the health and disability sector
  • Governance and the health and disability sector

Day 4: Health law and ethics

  • Beginning of life
  • Organ donation
  • Withdrawal of treatment
  • End of life
  • Prioritisation in a resource-constrained environment
  • Reporting deaths and coronial inquiries

Day 5: Health information and Quality improvement and the law

  • Health information privacy
  • Official information
  • Protected Quality Assurance Activities
  • Adverse events
  • Preventing, managing, and learning from complaints
  • Learnings from major inquiries
Back to top