What are Ethics?

Ethics are a system of moral principles and a branch of philosophy which defines what is good for individuals and society.

According to, Ethics are defined as

1. (used with a singular or plural verb) a system of moral principles:

the ethics of a culture.
2. (used with a plural verb) the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.:

medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. (used with a plural verb) moral principles, as of an individual:

His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4. (used with a singular verb) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

A personal Story

We have been tasked with sharing a personal story regarding any awakenings/realisations or challenges we have faced that informed or forced us to choose a specific action or left us wondering what was the ethical thing to do, so here goes.

About eight years ago I was employed as a local security guard in the Nelson region. Along with the task of dealing with alarms and checking clients property, we were also tasked with dealing with the region’s noise complaints at night time (Noiseys we called them in the business).

Now late one Saturday night, around midnight, when doing my routine property checks I heard the all too familiar sound of a noisey job come through on the pager. Grrrrr I hated doing noise control in this job, 15 bucks an hour to go rock up to a house full of drunk party goers to tell them to turn down their music or even threaten to take the sound system with me…..not fun at all.

Anyways, so I get the job on the pager and I call base to get any more information about the job. It is right at this point that I’m informed that its a possible gang members property and not only that, but they have also had numerous warnings about excessive noise complaints and are now in a position where if anymore noise complaints come through, security guards are to take their sound system.

Oh great, imagine how enthusiastic I was to rock up to a gang members house and take their stereo! Well, I guess this is where I made an ethical decision. When I got to the house I was greeted by an not too happy islander that I’m guessing, could squash me like a bug. I had already at this point decided not to follow the law and take this mans stereo and upset a house full of gang members, so I politely asked the man to turn down the music and informed him that I was actually required by law to take the stereo, and asked if he would please save me the hassle of coming back and taking it by simply keeping the noise down a bit. Well, the man was very polite and thanked me for not taking his sound system and I never got another noisey from this house again.

I experienced a situation that required me by law to take another mans property, not only did I feel like a bit of a douche for doing this I actually felt pretty uneasy in my stomach at having to do this to a possible gang member.  I thought by making the decision to give the man a warning would be just enough to resolve the situation keeping all parties happy and it sure payed off. I learned that sometimes, it pays to think about the situation and come up with alternative solutions rather than doing what’s is legally required straight away. Of course I realise that this lesson totally depends on the situation that has presented itself.

IITP’s 8 Ethical Tenets

The IITP (Institute of Information technology Professionals) has eight ethical tenets, a code of conduct as you may call it. They are listed as follows and not in any order of importance:

Good Faith


Community Focus


Continuous Development

Informed Consent

Managed Conflicts of Interest


My story, in my opinion relates most to the community focus tenet. You may ask why? The community had complained about the noise coming from a property and I was required by law to ‘take’ the noise away completely. I guess at the time I saw more problems occurring taking the stereo rather than asking politely for those responsible of it to simply turn the music down with the threat of returning again and taking the stereo. I also though of the possible consequence taking this gang members stereo may have on his neighbours, the man wasn’t stupid and he would have know a neighbour had complained and that’s why his stereo was taken.

The Three Most Important Tenets

We have been asked to identify what we believe to be the three most important tenets of IITP’s ethical list. Well this is a very difficult question, as I personally believe that they are all of equal importance and have their specific reason for being included in this list.

The reason they are all so important is because the serve a purpose as a whole rather than individual tenets. But in the context to my task of identify three that I believe to be the most important, I’m going to say Good Faith, Integrity and Continuous Development for the sole reason that they are all very important to me and always have been, in particular the Good Faith tenet. I believe what goes around comes around and treat others how you want to be treated in return.

NMIT’s Relationship with IITP

NMIT and the IITP share a very common interest, to increase the education, professionalism and expertise of those working in the ICT sector.

This attitude benefits everyone involved in the IT industry and is the reason why New Zealand is gaining such a great reputation around the world of producing top quality IT professionals.




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