Abstract: Until recently, community organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) have not had any avenue for ethical review of research involving human participants unless they were connected to researchers involved with health and disability research (narrowly-defined), or tertiary education institutions. The New Zealand Ethics Committee (NZEC), a recent community research development initiative, has invited organisations to submit their proposals for voluntary ethics review and provides research methodology support where sought. This paper introduces this initiative, describing both its make-up and processes. It also explores the relationship between reviewer-applicant in the NZEC as distinctive to the relationship of reviewer-applicant in traditional ethical review settings, explaining this difference of power relations and philosophy. Those in the community see research ethics review as something to be learned along with research methodology/practice.
Flanagan, P. and Tumilty, E. (2015) How does voluntary ethics improve research? Introducing a community research development initiative, Whanake: The Pacific Journal of Community Development, 1(2), 14-23