National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) was established under the Animal Welfare Act to provide independent advice to the Government minister responsible for animal welfare.

NAWAC's role in animal welfare

NAWAC gives the Government minister responsible for animal welfare advice on:

  • the welfare of animals in New Zealand
  • animal welfare research needs
  • legislative proposals
  • codes of welfare
  • regulations
  • traps and devices
  • hunting and killing animals in a wild state.

Section 57 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 lists all of NAWAC's functions.

Animal Welfare Act 1999 – New Zealand Legislation

NAWAC's work

NAWAC prioritises its work to make the most of its limited resources while improving animal welfare in New Zealand. NAWAC uses a framework to decide which animal welfare issues to address first. The committee updates its work programme every year.

Download NAWAC's prioritisation framework [PDF, 52 KB]

Download NAWAC's work programme [PDF, 462 KB]

Timeline for reviewing codes of welfare [PDF, 459 KB]

Read about our review of pig crates

Animal sentience

The understanding that animals are sentient (able to perceive or feel things) has always been important in NAWAC's work. NAWAC continues to integrate the idea of animal sentience in its work, including in codes and standards as they are developed and reviewed.

Read about animal sentience: their emotions, feelings, and experiences of life

Find out more

Codes of welfare for animals

NAWAC committee guidelines

NAWAC reviews and reports

NAWAC membership

Who to contact

If you have questions about NAWAC, email


Last reviewed: