Biological Safety Committee

Terms of reference

  • To assess the applications it receives in accordance with the delegation by the Environmental Risk Management Authority (EPA), in order to identify all potential effects to people including researchers, the community and the environment.
  • To determine applications in accordance with the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) and any relevant supporting protocols issued by EPA.
  • To determine containment and procedures for all experimental work falling into Categories A and B and for the housing, storage and transportation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) falling under the delegation.
  • To send applications and Decision Forms (including declined applications) for approvals made under the delegation to EPA within the statutory required timeframe.
  • To send all applications for experiments falling into Category C to the Authority. If an experiment falls into both Categories B and C, Category C will take precedence and these experiments should be referred to EPA.
  • To review the expertise of personnel involved in experiments falling under this delegation in order to assess whether good laboratory and containment practice will be observed.
  • To ensure compliance with the requirements of EPA.
  • To maintain a register of approved projects under this delegation.
  • To refer matters of conflict of interest and their resolution to EPA, through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), within 20 working days of the matters becoming known.


  1. Conflicts of Interest
    Committee members must declare any real or perceived conflicts of interest in line with the requirements of the University’s Conflicts of Interest Policy.
  2. Confidentiality
    Committee members have a responsibility to treat all information with appropriate confidentiality. This includes matters tabled or discussed at the Committee meetings, as well as any additional issues that are raised outside meetings.


  • Three members appointed by the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
  • Three members appointed by the Faculty of Science
  • One member appointed by the Faculty of Engineering
  • Biological Safety Officer
  • Three lay members appointed by the Council, two of whom are appointed in compliance with EPA guidelines on Maori membership
  • One co-opted member.