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Verifying Death - Draft Guideline for Consultation

The Ministry of Health is consulting on a proposal that the Chief Coroner make a rule change to allow nurses and nurse practitioners, midwives in some cases, and ambulance staff from the role of emergency technician and above, to verify death. The reasons for the change are to make the most of the breadth of the scopes of practice of the health workforce and to reduce unnecessary delays and stress to families. A small working group was established and has developed two documents to support implementation, when the rule change is confirmed.

  1. A Practitioner Guideline - the aim of the guideline is to provide information to primarily practitioners, but also employers and managers. The document sets out the relevant legislation and describes roles and responsibilities as well as the clinical assessment required to verify death.
  2. A documentation form - for use by practitioners to record the assessment and the time and place they assessed the deceased.

The areas of nursing that this is likely to useful include aged care, palliative care, PRIME (rural) nurses and ED.

The Ministry wants feedback on whether:

  • the document is readily understood
  • the document includes all the information needed - if not what else would be helpful
  • the document will help in professional development, organisational policy development and to guide practice
  • any additions or deletions needed

Feedback Due: Please send comments to by 26 May 2015

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Posted in: Consultations


NZNO is committed to the representation of members and the promotion of nursing and midwifery. NZNO provides professional leadership and advice in a range of areas.

NZNO supports the provision of supervision for nurses and has published information on this topic for a number of years. This latest update has been developed in collaboration with Te Rūnanga and provides the latest information available on supervision processes.

Please forward to your members as appropriate. All comments and feedback are warmly welcomed no matter how small or large.

Please forward your feedback on the policy by 12 June 2015 to or post to PO Box 1195, Nelson 7040

Enquiries to:
Jill Clendon
Nursing Policy Advisor/Researcher
Ph 03 5463941

Posted in: Consultations

Update of the New Zealand Health Strategy 2000

The Minister of Health has asked for an update of the NZ Health Strategy 2000. The update is taking place alongside two other health system reviews: Funding and capability and capacity review.

Despite the short timeframe, NZNO is well placed to provide an evidenced-based rationale and strategic advice on the pivotal role of the nursing and nursing support workforce in achieving the aims of the strategy, which has a strong primary health care focus. (i.e. promoting health, reducing disease and disability, and ensuring equitable access to collaborative and integrated health and disability services.)

Our 2020 and Beyond: Vision for Nursing Statement provides a unified, systematic approach to developing the sustainable, flexible health workforce needed to meet current and future health demands. Nursing Matters outlines NZNO’s priorities for health and the key actions for nursing, health equity, and fair employment. Universal access to health care, workforce capacity and funding mechanisms are reflected as priority issues. We warmly and urgently invite further feedback to inform NZNO’s input into the workshops and consultation processes of developing the update.

See also: 2020 and beyond: a vision for nursing: Background Executive Summary

Feedback Due: Please send comments to by 10 May 2015

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New Zealand and the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products

New Zealand has been a party to an international treaty that aims to prevent harms from tobacco use, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO): the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) since 2005.

The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, (is part of this Treaty), aims to provide a global response to the illicit trade in tobacco products. The Government is undertaking consultation to inform decision-making as to whether it should agree to become a party to it.

This consultation document puts forward two options:

  • Option 1: New Zealand does not become a party to the Protocol and continues with its current approach to preventing illicit trade in tobacco products.
  • Option 2: New Zealand becomes a party to the Protocol and makes the necessary changes to meet the mandatory requirements of the Protocol.

New Zealand’s existing laws already comply with many of the obligations in the Protocol. However, if New Zealand became a party to the Protocol, some legislative reforms would probably be needed, along with new systems, processes and initiatives to support them. This consultation paper explores these implications:

Feedback Due: Please send any comments to by 5 June 2015

Posted in: Consultations

Proposal to market share procurement for hospital medical devices

PHARMAC is seeking feedback on the above approach to procurement of medical devices. It proposes that wound care would be the first category to be considered for market share procurement, because they “have substantially completed national contracting activity in this area and have enough information about the market and clinical advice to run a market share approach”. PHARMAC acknowledges the importance of seeking clinical advice.

Documents  are available here:

Feedback Due: Please send comments to by 28 April 2015

Posted in: Consultations

Draft Principles and Guidance for the Last Days of Life - Te Ara Whakapiri - The Path of Closeness and Unity

This document has been completed by the Palliative Care Council (PCC) and  represents the recommended approach to caring, across all sectors and settings for New Zealanders who have life-limiting illness and are in their last days of life.

The guidance was developed as a result of the phasing out of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) for the Dying Patient in the United Kingdom. A key recommendation is that teams caring for a person in their last days of life should develop an individual care plan which addresses physical, social, cultural and spiritual issues. The document provides tools and resources to guide the care of people in their last days of life.

The PCC is particularly interested to hear how this guidance fits with current tools and how clinically applicable it is across a range of settings.

The full guidance document is below for your review and comment.

Feedback Due: Please send comments to by 28 April 2015.


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Intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) for breast cancer

Treating cancers with IORT has been investigated by the NHC both as an addition to standard external beam radiotherapy treatment (EBRT), and as a substitute for usual radiation therapy for early breast cancer. The National Health Committee is interested in your feedback on their  proposal to undertake further detailed analytical work on the use of IORT for early breast cancer. 


Feedback Due: Please send comments to by 7 April 2015.

Posted in: Consultations

Ministry of Social Development - Disabled Children (out of home care)

Following the Vulnerable Childrens Act, the cross agency Disabled Childrens Project Team is consulting on a review of the care and support system for disabled children who are, or are likely to be, placed in out-of-home care voluntarily by their parents under the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989.

The document is not about abused or neglected or ACC for severely  disabled children, but is primarily aimed at giving effect to Article 4 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities8, which has been ratified by New Zealand.

The Ministry is interesting in hearing your views on

  • How families can be supported to care for their disabled children at home and potentially reduce the need for out-of-home placements; and

  • In those situations where families cannot care for disabled children at home, we want to look at the process by which out-of-home placements for these children are provided.

A link to the documents can be found here:

Feedback Due: 31 May 2015 Please send comments to or fill in the survey by 20 May 2015

Posted in: Consultations

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

AMD is the leading cause of blindness in New Zealand in those aged over 50, accounting for half of all cases. The National Health Committee is seeking feedback on the most efficient and equitable means of delivering treatment. The consultation document includes consideration of the issues around as-needed rather than regular treatment, and administration by a nurse rather than a physician.

For more information and downloads visit

Feedback due 7 April 2015

Please send your comments to by 7 April 2015.

Posted in: Consultations

Draft Framework for Health Literacy Survey

The Ministry of Health is requesting feedback on their draft Framework for Health Literacy, documents are attached below:

  • Download the Draft Framework for Health Literacy (PDF, 499KB)
  • Download the Presentation notes about the Draft Framework for Health Literacy (PDF, 194KB)

A Health System Response

Health literacy is the capacity to find and use information and health services to make effective decisions for health and wellbeing. It is fundamental to the primary health care approach to improving population health that NZNO identified as a priority for health.

The Framework for Health Literacy is designed to support action on health literacy improvement at all levels and includes:

  • the health system
  • health organisations eg: NGOs, PHOs, practitioner associations, regulatory bodies
  • health practitioners and ALL staff
  • individuals and whānau (shows impact of actions at other levels).

Download the Health Literacy survey questions below (DOCX, 184KB)

Please note the following NZNO publications below:

  • NZNO Position statement on Health Literacy 2012 (PDF, 320KB)
  • NZNO Health Literacy Policy and Practice for Nurses – A Call for Action, 2012 (PDF, 341KB)

Feedback due 5:00pm, 27 March 2015

Please email the completed survey form to by 5:00 pm on Friday 27 March 2015. All feedback will be acknowledged.

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Coronors Amendment Bill

The aim of this Bill is to amend the Coroners Act 2006 (the Act) to:

  • “improve the quality, consistency, and timeliness of coronial investigations and decision making;
  • “clarify the role of coroners and reduce duplication between coroners and other authorities that investigate deaths and accidents;
  • “clarify the role coroners have in making recommendations to prevent future deaths and the relationship with agencies that have policy and operational responsibility in those areas;
  • “ensure resources are used effectively.” [1] 

Main Provisions or amendments include:

Section 3 of the Act provides that ‘help to achieve its purpose, that Act, inter alia,  ‘recognise’ both:

  • the cultural and spiritual needs of family of, and of others who were in a close relationship to, a person who has died; and
  • the public good associated with a proper and timely understanding of the causes and circumstances of deaths.”

The Bill replaces this provision with the following:

“the making of recommendations or comments that, if drawn to public attention, may reduce the chances of further deaths occurring in circumstances similar to those in which the deaths occurred” (Part 1, Subpart 1, Clause 4, amending Section 3 of the Act (the “purpose clause”) by substituting subsection (1)(b)).

Other provisions include:

  • Functions of the chief coroner
  • Duty to report deaths
  • Coroner must give interested parties notice of significant matters
  • Coroner may direct a post-mortem
  • Coroner’s jurisdiction to open inquiries
  • Publication of details of self-inflicted deaths
  • Practice notes

Feedback Due: Please send comments to Leanne Manson: by 20 March 2015

Posted in: Consultations

Select Committee - Inquiry into 2014 General Election

After each election, a multi-party select committee conducts an inquiry into the legal and administrative aspects of that election. The terms of reference for the inquiry in 2015 are very broad: "To examine the law and administrative procedures for the conduct of Parliamentary elections in light of the 2014 general election". No specific questions are asked nor comment sought on any particular aspect of the law or administration of Parliamentary elections.

The electoral system is fundamental to our social democracy and it must function in the fairest and most inclusive way possible. You may wish to consider the low voter turnout (<70 percent), particularly of young people, and the implications of that trend; outcomes in terms of fair political representation for women, Māori and others;  how the election was conducted, including information and provision for enrolment on either the general or Māori  roll, information about the election, access to polling booths (particularly in hospitals, rural areas), access for people with disabilities including mental disabilities),  who voted and who didn’t vote, etc., failures, omissions etc. You may also make suggestions for improvement.

Feedback Due: Please send comments to Marilyn Head, by 24 March 2015

Posted in: Consultations

Inquiry into Parliament's Legislative Response to Future National Emergencies

The purpose of this inquiry is to establish the most appropriate legislative model for enabling and facilitating response to and recovery from national emergencies once a state of emergency has been lifted, while maintaining consistency with essential constitutional principles, the rule of law, and good legislative practice.

The terms of reference are quite extensive and include consideration of “lessons learned from the implementation of recovery legislation after the Canterbury earthquakes”, but note that the focus of the inquiry is on the use executive power and delegated legislation i.e. the duties and powers of parliament in response to emergencies. 

Public health is central to emergency response and recovery. This inquiry gives an opportunity to comment on parliament’s law-making powers in relation to the public health systems that are in place to meet future national emergencies. You may want to think about parliament’s duties and powers in relation to dealing with specific emergencies eg our ability to respond to a pandemic, or the Christchurch  earthquakes (examples are useful),  as well as more broadly in terms of ensuring  capacity, appropriate workforce planning and regulation etc.     

The terms of reference can be found online at

Feedback Due: Please send comments to Marilyn Head, by May 31st 2015

Posted in: Consultations

PHARMAC - Anti-Diabetic Agents

PHARMAC is interested in receiving information from suppliers, clinicians and diabetes healthcare professionals in respect of the following classes of anti-diabetic agents:

a. dipeptidyl peptidase4 inhibitors (DPP4-inhibitors);

b. glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists (GLP-1s);

c. sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT-2s); and

d. combination anti-diabetic agents (e.g. DPP4-inhibitors/metformin).

The purpose of this request for information (RFI) is to seek information to inform and assist PHARMAC in determining the most appropriate funding arrangement and process, which may include progressing to a request for proposals (RFP) or other competitive process at a later date.

See whole document here

Feedback Due: Please send comments to ASAP due date is 1 March 2015

Posted in: Consultations

IT Health Board - HISO 10052 Ambulance Care Summary Draft Standard

This new standard defines an ambulance care summary document that enables patient information to be communicated interoperably at transfer of care. The ambulance care summary will be shared out of a clinical data repository to other providers' clinical workstation and provider portal systems.

Ambulance officers will be using a new touchscreen application called the Electronic Patient Report Form (ePRF) to record their clinical impressions, observations and interventions in caring for patients.

The document can be found online at

Feedback Due: Please send comments to by 24 February 2015

Posted in: Consultations


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