Mortality review committees join HQSC family

28 Apr 2011

As of 23 April 2011 they no longer report directly to the Minister of Health but contribute to the wider goals of the HQSC, as statutory committees with particular defined quality functions.

“The Commission is very pleased to have these committees in our fold as they do valuable work that benefits all New Zealanders,” says HQSC Chief Executive Dr Janice Wilson.

The mortality review committees were established under sections 11 and 8 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.  In 2010 the Act was amended, making the committees the responsibility of the Health Quality & Safety Commission.

As well as the four mortality review committees, there are a number of sub-groups involved in quality improvement reviews within local communities and district health boards (DHBs).  Each committee has a website which can be accessed via the HQSC website,

The four committees are:

The Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee (CYMRC)

  • reviews the deaths of children and young people aged 28 days up to 25 years, in order to learn how to prevent such deaths
  • has an active quality improvement network operating across New Zealand
  • recently started piloting DHB mortality reporting within its networks
  • will publish a series of special reports later this year, on suffocation and strangulation in children under five; driveway runovers; poisoning in the teenage years; and the influence of alcohol on child and youth mortality.
  • For more information about this committee visit:

The Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PMMRC)

  • reviews the deaths of babies and mothers in New Zealand
  • has two active working groups: the Australasian Maternity Outcomes Surveillance System Working Group, which looks at outcomes for New Zealand women with rare and significant complications in pregnancy and childbirth; and the Neonatal Encephalopathy Working Group, which gathers evidence with a view to reducing the incidence of neonatal encephalopathy and improving outcomes
  • the committee organises a national conference each year
  • For more information about this committee visit:

The Perioperative Mortality Review Committee (POMRC)

  • reviews deaths following any invasive procedure and deaths following anaesthesia (local, regional or general)
  • the newest of the four mortality review committees, having met for the first time in May 2010
  • currently working on its first report, which will provide a snapshot of New Zealand’s perioperative mortality
  • For more information about this committee visit:

The Family Violence Death Review Committee (FVDRC)

  • reviews all deaths related to family violence in New Zealand
  • currently working on a number of projects, including piloting and amending review processes, and undertaking data gathering and research
  • a significant achievement has been the creation of the first and only authoritative inter-sectoral record of family violence deaths for New Zealand
  • will produce a report later this year on family violence deaths between 2002 and 2009
  • For more information about this committee visit:

For more information about the work of the mortality review committees, contact Shelley Hanifan on 04 496 2149 or email .

Last updated 19/01/2012