The Interchurch Bioethics Council (formerly the Interchurch Commission on Genetic Engineering) was set up in 2000 by the Presbyterian, Anglican and Methodist churches. Several Presbyterians are members of the Council, which considers biotechnology from a spiritual, ethical and cultural point of view.

Key tasks

The Council notes its key tasks as:

  • To increase our own knowledge and understanding of the interface between spirituality and biotechnology;
  • To engage in consultation and dialogue with church members, community groups and specialists, on the ethical, spiritual and cultural issues raised by biotechnology.
  • To undertake and promote education on these issues within the community.
  • To make appropriate submissions to Government and other relevant organisations on important issues of ethical and spiritual concern.


The ICBC has produced many resources on euthanasia, see more here.

Covid-19 and Vaccination

Interchurch Bioethics Council Covid Vaccination and the Christian Response - Update Oct 2021

The ICBC has produced an update on their paper: Frequently Asked Questions - Covid Vaccination and the Christian Response to assist in our understanding of the vaccines (October 2021). Please download.

Read the PCANZ Moderator's pastoral message that was sent to the Church 12 October 2021 with the ICBC update paper above.. Download his message .

Frequently Asked Questions - Covid Vaccination and the Christian Response - March 2021
The ICBC has produced a paper on the COVID vaccines to assist Christians with their understanding of the vaccines as they become available to all New Zealanders (March 2021). Download.

Areas of work

The Interchurch Bioethics Council prepares resources on climate change, euthanasia, GM organisms, transgenics, biotechnology and other issues. A selection of reports and resources prepared by the Council are noted below, and more can be viewed on the ICBC website.

Legalisation of Cannabis Referendum Resource
A guide for discussion on the Legalisation of Cannabis for Medicinal and Recreational Purposes in New Zealand (May 2019). Read more

Sex-selection of embryos challenged
The ICBC speaks out against a report commissioned by the Government that recommends allowing parents to choose the sex of their child. For full story.

Real Urgent and Personal: A Christian approach to global climate change Report contains material suitable for group or individual study.

Where Do We Stand? A resource and study guide for church and community groups on the lifting of the moratorium on genetically modified organisms in New Zealand.

Making Good Decisions in Biotechnology: Stem Cell Research Cloning and Genetic information. study guide for church groups.

Euthanasia: Unethical Intervention or Death with Dignity?
A study resource prepared by ICBC. Includes study questions and bibliography for further reading.

Transgenics: A paper from the perspective of the Interchurch Bioethics Council ICBC paper looking at the transfer of human genes into other organisms.