The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumer Rights

The Code of Rights means that you are entitled to:

1.    Respect and Privacy
2.    Fair Treatment
3.    Dignity and Independence
4.    Proper Standards
5.    Effective Communication
6.    Information
7.    Your Choice and Decisions
8.    Support
9.    Rights During Teaching and Research
10.    Your Complaints taken seriously

For support and information contact your nurse or the Health and Disability Commissioner on 0800 11 22 33

Ma tenei Ture Ture I ou Tika ka ahei kia u nga tikanga:

1.    Mana
2.    Manaakitanga
3.    Tu Rangatira Motuhake
4.    Tautikanga
5.    Whakawhitiwhitinga Whakaaro
6.    Whakamohio
7.    Whakaritenga Mou Ake
8.    Tautoko
9.    Ako Me Te Rangahau
10.    Amuamu

Mo nga kaupapa tautoko, mohiotanga whakapa atu kit e roopu tautoko I tau rohe, ki Toihau Hauatanga ranei 0800 11 22 33

You should be told about these rights and be able to exercise them.

Right One - Respect

You should always be treated with respect, including respect for your personal privacy. Services should take into account your culture, religious, social and ethnic needs, values and beliefs.

Right Two – Fair Treatment

You should be free from discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, race, beliefs, martial or family status, employment, sexual orientation or disability. Services should be delivered without coercion, harassment or any form of exploitation.

Right Three – Dignity and Independence

Services should be provided in a way that respects your dignity and independence.

Right Four – Proper Standards

Services should: 

•    Be provided with reasonable care and skill
•    Meet legal, ethical, professional and other relevant standards.
•    Be consistent with your needs.
•    Minimise potential harm.
•    Providers should co-operate with each other to ensure you have quality care.

Right Five – Communication

Information should be given a form, language and manner which you can understand.

You should listen too.

A competent interpreter should be available if you need one and if it is reasonably practicable.

Communication should take place in an environment that supports open, honest and effective discussion.

Right Six – Information

You should always receive the following information:

  • An explanation of your condition
  • Your options, including the expected risks, side effects, benefits and costs.
  • An estimate of when you will receive a service
  • Advice of any possible involvement in teaching or research
  • The results of tests or procedures and the information you need to make a decision
  • You should be given honest answers to your questions relating to services. This includes questions about:
    • The identity or qualification of a provider
    • Your provider’s recommendations
    • How to get another opinion
    • Results of research which you were involved in

You have the right to request and receive written summary of information.

Right Seven – It’s your decision

You should receive a service only when you have made an informed choice and given informed consent.

You should be presumed to be competent to make choices and give consent unless there are reasonable grounds for a provider to conclude otherwise. If you have diminished competence (for example, a child) you should be allowed to make choices and give consent to the level of your ability.

In circumstances where services have to be delivered without your consent, they should be in your best interests.  Steps should be taken to discover whether services would be consistent with your wishes, including discussing the matter with available family and close friends.

You may make a decision in advance, in accordance with common law.

Your consent should be obtained in writing when you will be involved in research, an experimental procedure, a general anaesthetic or where there are possible significant adverse effects.

You may refuse services and withdraw your consent.

You may change to another provider where it is practicable to do so

You may make decisions about body parts or bodily substances.

Right Eight – Support

You may have a support person of your choice with you, as long as it is safe and other consumers’ rights are not unreasonably affected.

Right Nine – Teaching and Research

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

Right Ten – Complaints

You may make a complaint in any form appropriate to you.

You should be advised of you provider’s complaints and appeals procedure.

You should be kept informed about the progress and outcome of your complaint.

You should not be adversely affected by complaining.

Do these rights always apply?

Sometimes a provider may not be able to meet all of these rights.  However, they must always do what they reasonably can under the circumstances.

These are the main matters which are protected by the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumer Rights.  The actual Legal entitlements are contained in the regulation.  If you have difficulties with a health or disability service and they do not appear to be covered by these rights, they may be covered by the Privacy Act or the Human Rights Act.

What services are covered by these rights?

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumer’ Rights applies to all health services and disability services in New Zealand.

The code gives rights to all consumers.  It places obligations on people and organisations providing services.  Providers are widely defined in the Health and Disability Commissioner Act.  They include anyone providing or claiming to provide any sort of health and disability service, whether public or private.

A few examples of providers covered by this legislation:

  • Hospitals
  • Home and care providers
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Medical Specialists
  • Diagnostic Services

Need help?

If you believe your rights have been breached, it is best to talk or write directly to the person or organisation giving you the service.

Very often they will welcome your complaint as it helps them improve their standard of service or uncover a problem.

If you feel uncomfortable or unable to do this, you can take a friend or relative with you as support.  You can also have the support of an independent Health and Disability Advocate who is trained to help people in your situation.  This service is free.

Your local advocacy service can be reached by phoning 0800 423 638 or:

Advocacy Network Services

Box 1004
Palmerston North
Phone – 06 353 7236
Fax – 06 353 7232

A full copy of the Code of Rights is available from Crest Hospital.

Additional rights of children and their parents or guardians

Aparent or guardian usually gives consent for a child to be treated. Consent from an adult is not needed in some cases, such as emergencies.

Children in the hospital have the right to have parents or a parent substitute with them.  Sometimes your child’s caregivers may ask that you not be present – for example, in the operating room.

Children have the right to care that is appropriate for their age and level of development and that respects their need to grow, play and learn. Children will be cared for by staff who are trained to meet the physical, emotional and developmental needs of children and their families.

At the request a nurse in charge of your care can obtain a copy of the Crest Hospital Policy on “Patient and Parental Rights & Responsibilities” for you.

Patient & Parental Responsibilities

Just as we have responsibilities to you, you have responsibilities to Crest Hospital.  By following through on these responsibilities, you will help us provide you with the best possible care.

You are responsible for following hospital rules/regulations.

  • Parents or other responsible adults should accompany minor children on any hospital visit and observe all hospital rules.
  • To provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present condition, including any symptoms, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to you or your child’s health; and to report unexpected changes in you or your child’s condition. Please report any changes in your condition after discharge.
  • To notify your or your child’s surgeon or nurse if you do not understand a diagnosis, treatment or prognosis, and to ask for clarification if you do not understand documents you are asked to sign.
  • To co-operate and to follow the care prescribed or recommended for you or your child by the surgeon, nurses or allied health personnel.
  • To be responsible for your actions and their consequences if you refuse treatment for yourself or your child or do not follow the surgeon’s instructions.
  • To assure that the financial obligations associated with you or your child’s care are fulfilled promptly.
  • To be considerate and respect the rights of other patients, family, visitors and hospital personnel by assisting in the control of noise, the number of visitors you or your child receives, and by observing the no smoking policy.  You are welcome to stay in your child’s room provided the rules and regulations are adhered to.
  • To advise your nurse, surgeon, or any member of your health care team of any dissatisfaction you may have with you or your child’s care.
  • To assist the hospital staff in providing and environment that is safe for you and your child, the following activities are strictly forbidden:

-    Possession of firearms and other weapons
-    Possession of alcohol or illegal drugs
-    Disorderly conduct including the use of profanity and verbal threats.

Exhibition of any of the above by you, your child or your visitors will ensure you are subject to intervention by security officers and/or escorted from the premises.

Advocates and Taking Action

Everyone using a health and disability service has the protection of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.  An independent Commissioner promotes and protects these rights under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994.  Independent advocacy to support consumers to uphold their rights is also available under this Act.

1.    You may contact ADNET Advocacy Network Services, phone (06) 348 0074. ADNET are an independent advocacy support network for anyone receiving Health and Disability Services. They are established under the Health and Disability Act 1994, and are an outreach of the Health and Disability Commissioner


2.    You may write (or phone) direct to the Health and Disability Commissioner’s Office, P O Box 1791, Auckland – phone 0800 11 22 33

You can take action: If you are unhappy about the service you received from a health or disability service provider you can….

  • Take you concerns directly to the person or organisation that provided the service.
  • Get help and support from friends, family or whanau to raise your concerns with the provider.
  • Seek the support of an advocate to help you

What is an Advocate?

Independent advocates help and support people to know their rights and the actions they can take if they have a concern about a health or disability service.

Ko enei nga tangata awhina me te tautoko kia mau, kia u ai ou tika me He ratonga kore utu tenei mo nga tangata katoa.

What does an advocate do for you?

  • Listens to your concerns
  • Gives you information about your rights
  • Helps you identify and clarify issues
  • Helps you to explore the options available to assist you to resolve each issue.
  • Can support you in the actions you take to resolve your concerns

He aha nga mahi ka ahei kia mahia e nga kaitautoko?

  • Awhina I te hunga pa pouri ki nga mahi o te ratonga Hauora, Hauatanga ki a ratou
  • Whakamohio atu I nga tika
  • Whakamohio I nga huarahi whakatakoto amuamu, me pehea hoki te whakapa atu kit e Toihau Hauora, hauatanga
  • Tautoko I te hunga e whakapono ana kua takahia ratau I raro I te “Ture Tiaki I Ou Tika”
  • Whakatinana I nga whakaritenga kit au e whakahau ai


21 Carroll Street
Palmerston North 4410
Phone: (06) 953 2480


21 Carroll Street
Palmerston North 4410
Phone: (06) 953 2498


PO Box 442
Palmerston North 4440
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  • (06) 953 2480
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