Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights
In New Zealand, when you use a health or disability service you have rights. The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) says you have:
- The right to be treated with respect.
- The right to be treated fairly.
- The right to dignity and independence.
- The right to have good care and support that fits your needs.
- The right to be told things in a way that you understand.
- The right to be told everything you need to know about your care and support.
- The right to make choices about your care and support.
- The right to have support.
- The right to decide if you want to be part of training, teaching or research.
- The right to make a complaint.
Find out more about the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights on the HDC website.
Disability rights information from Community Law
The Community Law website has a section dedicated to disability rights. The section includes information about:
- Rights recognised by the UN Disability Convention
- Decision making
- Access to jobs and protection against discrimination
- Access to housing and accommodation
- Access and learning support for disabled and Deaf students
- Where to go for more support
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights treaty designed to protect the rights of disabled people. New Zealand signed the Convention at the United Nations on 30 March 2007, and ratified it on 26 September 2008.
What to do if your rights have been violated
Make a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner
If you believe you’ve been mistreated by a health or disability service, you can make a complaint to the HDC.
To make a complaint to the HDC, you can complete their online form or send the details to them by email, post or by calling them, using their online form as a guide. The HDC may discuss your complaint and clinical records with the person or organisation you are complaining about.
Make a complaint to the Ombudsman
If you believe your rights have been breached by a public sector agency (such as the Ministry of Health or ACC) you can make a complaint to the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman website has an interactive tool to help you find out if they can help. It only takes a minute to use. There is also a text alternative if you use assistive technology.
Make a complaint to the Human Rights Commission
If you believe your rights have been violated by an individual or organisation (public or private) you can make a complaint to the Human Rights Commission. The Human Rights Commission employs mediators who can help you resolve your complaint.
Last updated on Thursday, 1 September 2022