Abortion Supervisory Committee,
Dear Ms Cole
Abortion Licence – Tauranga
Thank you for your letter of 23 May 2013 and enclosures. It is noted that the holder of the abortion licence for the Tauranga Family Planning clinic is Ms Jacki Edmund. Ms Edmund is the Chief Executive Officer for the New Zealand Family Planning Association and is stationed at its national office in Willis Street in Wellington.
The application for a licence was completed by Ms Edmund on 6th December 2012. Section 20, Applications for Licences, of the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 [CS & A Act ] states [b] In the case of any other institution, the person for the time being in charge of the institution.
It is noted that it was Parliament’s intention in passing this legislation in 1977 to require the person holding the licence to be a fit and proper person to hold such a licence.
- Section 25 of the C S and A Act requires that the holder has taken all reasonable and practicable steps to ensure that the provisions of the abortion law have been complied within the institution.
- Section 33  requires the certifying consultants to forward to the holder of the licence in respect of the licensed institution in which the abortion is to be performed the authorising certificate..
- It is assumed that it was Parliament’s intention that the person holding the licence had the responsibility to ensure that abortions performed in their facility were authorised by two certifying consultants and that full regard was given to the care and welfare of women.
The issuing of a licence to Ms Edmund raises several important questions:
- Why was the licence issued to Ms Edmund who is arguably not the person in charge of the day to day operation of the Tauranga clinic?
- Why did your Committee not seek to have the licence issued to the person who was responsible for the daily management of the clinic?
How is Ms Edmund to fulfil her obligations as licence holder when she is absent from the licensed facility fulfilling her duties as the CEO of Family Planning at its office in Wellington?
- To whom are certifying consultants to forward authorising certificates for abortions to be performed at the Tauranga clinic?