Your Rights

Nga Tikanga o Nga Turoro
Your rights when receiving services from the Auckland District Health Board.


The Law
Your Rights
Health & Disability Advocacy Service
Help us to Help you

The Law
The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights (The Code) became law on 1 July 1996. It grants a number of rights to all consumers of health and disability services and places corresponding obligations on providers of those services.

The Code is reviewed regularly. The last review was in 2009.

The obligations of The Code apply both to individual providers, such as doctors, nurses and dentists, and to provider organisations, such as hospitals and other health and disability organisations.

The Auckland District Health Board has prepared a pamphlet based on The Code entitled "Your Rights" and this is summarised below. You can dowload a copy of the pamphlet in English here.

For more information, see the website of the Health and Disability Commissioner where you can:

You can also get a printed copy of The Code from your provider, the Health and Disability Commissioner or Bennett's Government Bookshops.

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Your Rights
The Auckland District Health Board has prepared the following summary of your rights, based on the Code. This summary is also available in the pamplet "Your Rights" (Sept 2010) which you can download here, or find on the wards and other departments at Starship.

When receiving services from the Auckland District Health Board, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect. This includes respect for your culture, values and beliefs, as well as your right to personal privacy.
  • Fair treatment. No one should discriminate against you, pressure you into doing something you do not want to do or take advantage of you in any way.
  • Services which are provided in a way that supports your dignity and independence.
  • Receive care from staff working together to meet your needs as well as legal, ethical and professional standards.
  • Effective communication and to be listened to. Information should be given in a form, language and manner which you understand.
  • Full information
    • to have your condition explained and be told what your choices are as well as the possible benefits and risks.
    • to know the name, position and role of any staff involved with your care.
    • to take part in decisions about your care and treatment (this may be difficult or impossible in emergencies).
  • Make your own decisions. You can:
    • say no or change your mind at any time.
    • refuse treatment if you choose to. In special cases this right may be limited by law.
    • give written or verbal consent before any treatment, procedure or surgery is carried out. (If you are not able to make your own decisions we may take into account the views of your family / whanau).
    • have any body parts, tissues and substances removed or obtained during your care returned to you.
    • give consent to the storage, use and disposal of any body parts, tissues and substances. (We will dispose of any of these you do not want returned, or that are not required for further testing, quality checks or research approved by an Ethics Committee). For further information, ask the staff providing your care.
    • give consent before involvement in any research or teaching session (research consent must be written) and you can withdraw from either at any time without this affecting your care in any way.
  • Have one or more support persons of your choice present, except where safety may be compromised or another person's rights may be unreasonably infringed by this.
  • Have all these rights apply when taking part in teaching and research situations.
  • Make a verbal or written complaint. Please see Your Feedback for information on how to do this.

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Health & Disability Advocacy Service
The Health & Disability Advocacy Service was set up to ensure that consumers' rights under The Code are upheld. The service is free, confidential and independent, both of service providers, such as hospitals, and the Health & Disability Commissioner.

Advocates advise people of their rights and of the actions they can take if they have a concern about a health or disability service. The advocate will support and assist you in the actions you choose to take to resolve your concerns.

There are posters and pamphlets available in each department. Please ask the staff.

For more information, see the website of the Health and Disability Commissioner where you can find an advocate.

Contact details:
Phone (Auckland Central service): (64 9) 525 2700
Fax (National) 0800 2SUPPORT (0800 2787 7678)
Freephone (National) 0800 555 050
Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm. An answerphone is on outside these hours.

You can also contact an advocate based nearer to your home - see the local telephone numbers in the advocacy section of the Health & Disability Commissioner's website.

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Help us to Help You
Auckland District Health Board staff are committed to working in partnership with you to achieve the best possible outcome. You can help us to achieve this by:

  • Being involved in your treatment and care whenever this is possible.
  • Co-operate with and support the agreed treatment.
  • Providing information that could assist with your care and treatment.
  • Informing us if your rights are not being met.
  • Being sensitive to the needs of others.
  • Respecting the privacy of others and keep in confidence any information gained about them.
  • Respecting the staff and property of Auckland District Health Board.
  • Honouring the non-smoking policy.

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