Know your rights

Disability services should support the life you want to live. Know your rights and what to do if you are concerned or unhappy with the care or support you receive.

What are your rights?

When you use a disability service you have rights, and knowing your rights can help make sure you get the service and treatment you deserve.

These rights are called the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights or "the Code".

You have the right to:

  • be treated with respect.
  • be treated fairly.
  • dignity and independence.
  • have good care and support that fits your needs.
  • be told things in a way that you understand.
  • be told everything you need to know about your care and support.
  • make choices about your care and support.
  • have support.
  • decide if you want to be part of training, teaching or research.
  • make a complaint.

You can also find these rights in te reo Māori, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) or in an Easy Read booklet on the Health and Disability Commission (HDC) website. The Easy Read 'You have rights' booklet has illustrations for each right and a short explanation of what it means and how you should be treated.

Find out more about your rights on the HDC website external URL

Get the You Have Rights Easy Read Booklet on the HDC website external URL

Making a complaint

You have the right to complain if you are not happy with a disability service you have received. You can also choose how you'd like to lodge your complaint.

For example, you can:

  • contact us at the Ministry
  • speak directly with the health and disability service
  • use an advocate
  • submit your complaint to the Health and Disability Commission.

Once you've made a complaint, people should listen to your concerns or worries, and tell you what they will do about it and by when.

You won't get in trouble for making a complaint. In fact, your complaint will lead to change by helping people who support you to learn and do a better job. 

Make a complaint through Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People

Make a complaint through the Health and Disability Commission by: