Know your Rights

You have the right to make a complaint about any services you receive that you are not happy with.


It is best to raise your complaint with the person involved or their manager in the first instance. All services should have a complaints procedure which you should be made aware of. You may have received a brochure about this policy or in the case of larger organisations it will be at their website.

If you do not get a satisfactory solution or if you feel uncomfortable approaching the service directly you can make a complaint to the Ministry of Health or phone 0800373664 or seek the services of a Health and Disability Advocate who can work with you to help you resolve the issue.

You can also make a complaint directly to the Health and Disability Commissioner. The Commissioner will assess the complaint and decide the most appropriate way for it to be resolved. If it concerns a breach of the Code of Health and Disability Consumer Rights the Commissioner may formally investigate the matter. Be aware issues are prioritised and this can be a lengthy process


Code of Health and Disability Consumer Rights

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights sets out ten rights that you have as a health consumer which must be followed by anyone providing any sort of health or disability service. The Code applies to all health services and disability support services in New Zealand. The purpose of the Code is to protect your rights as a health consumer and to help resolve any complaints you may have if you feel those rights have not been protected.


The main points of the ten rights are

Right 1

You should always be treated with respect, including respect for your culture, values, beliefs and personal privacy.

Right 2

No-one should discriminate against you or push you into doing something or making a decision that you are not comfortable with.

Right 3

Your care and treatment let you live a dignified, independent life.

Right 4

Everyone looking after you should work together to make sure that you are treated with care and skill and that you receive the right services for your needs.

Right 5

You have the right to be listened to, understood and receive information in whatever way you need. Where possible, an interpreter should be provided if you need one.

Right 6

Your condition should be fully explained to you, to allow you to make choices for possible treatments. You should be given information on the benefits and side effects of treatments and told how long you may have to wait, who will be treating you and any costs involved. You can ask any questions about the services and expect an honest and accurate answer.

Right 7

It is your decision whether to go ahead with treatments or not and you are able to change your mind at any time.

Right 8

In most situations, you can have a support person of your choice with you if you wish.

Right 9

All these rights also apply when you are taking part in teaching or research.

Right 10

You can make a complaint about any aspect of your care or treatment. You should be given information on the process involved in making a complaint so it is easy for you to do so. Your treatment should not suffer if you do make a complaint.



The Health and Disability Commissioner’s Office:

Auckland Office
Level 10 Tower Centre
45 Queen Street
PO Box 1791
New Zealand
Ph: (09) 373 1060
Fax: (09) 373 1061