Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Management of Human Tissue and DNA

  • You must specify in your proposal and in the consent form how you plan to manage human tissue and DNA. This will involve clarity about how tissue will be stored, whether it will be used for any future purpose and how it will be destroyed. For an example, see below.
  • Some iwi do not support storage of tissue and blood samples because of collective whānau, hapū, iwi and whakapapa implications, and advise members to consult prior to participation in research where this occurs. However, it is acknowledged that individuals have a right to make their own decision to participate. If in doubt please discuss this with the Tumuaki.
  • If study samples are being sent overseas for analysis and/or storage they move beyond the jurisdiction of New Zealand law.  This is a point of significant sensitivity to some Māori.  It can be somewhat mitigated if the overseas laboratory is quality assured according to internationally agreed standards.


AN EXAMPLE: Data and Sample Collection, Storage and Confidentiality

An example of how you may cover these issues in your proposal:
  • Blood and/or serum samples will be collected, prepared and stored [specify site/relevant staff].
  • Data held at Auckland University will be initially identified according to [e.g. patient’s NHI] and given a unique study number for the purposes of anonymised data entry and sample identification.
  • The data and the blood will be transported to the [specify site] according to [specify as relevant e.g. IATA international] guidelines for the transport of tissue.
  • Data will be stored in a locked room and secured within a locked cabinet. [Specify staff] will have access to the data.
  • All laboratory specimens, evaluation forms, reports, and other records that leave the site will be identified by coded number only to maintain subject confidentiality.
  • All computer entry and networking programs will be done with coded numbers only.
  • Clinical information will not be released without written permission of the subject. Subjects must not be identifiable by name or personal details on any report forms or published material.
  • The data will be held for [specify] years and destroyed by [specify eg university shredding] procedures at the end of the statutory period.
  • Samples will be tested at [specify laboratory] and any remaining after the specified testing will be destroyed according to [specify] procedures for destruction of biological samples.