Patient rights & responsibilities

As a health and disability provider, Te Whatu Ora Whanganui complies with the Code of Health and Disability Consumers’ Rights and the Health Information Privacy Code.

Patient rights 

In New Zealand, when you use a health or disability service you have rights. The rights are called the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights or "the Code".

You have:

  • the right to be treated with respect
  • the right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment and exploitation
  • the right to dignity and independence
  • the right to services of an appropriate standard
  • the right to effective communication
  • the right to be fully informed
  • the right to make an informed choice and give informed consent
  • the right to support
  • the rights in respect of teaching or research
  • the right to complain.

Patient responsibilities

While under Te Whatu Ora Whanganui care patients are expected to:

  • provide accurate information in regard to medications, treatments and medical history
  • ask for clarification or further explanation on anything causing concern or uncertainty
  • cooperate with any treatments agreed to
  • respect the privacy, dignity, cultural, social and ethnic practices of other patients
  • show consideration to other patients’ requirements for peace and quiet
  • behave in a way that does not make staff or other patients feel threatened
  • not use offensive language to staff or other patients.

The Health Information Privacy Code

The Health Information Privacy Code sets out specific rules for health service providers to ensure the protection of individual privacy and patients’ health information. The code addresses how health information can be collected, used, held and disclosed.

Summary of the Health Information Privacy Code rules are as follows:

  • only necessary information can be collected
  • personal information must be collected directly from the individual whenever possible
  • the individual must be aware information is being collected, the purpose and intended recipients
  • the method of collection must not be unlawful, unfair or intrusive
  • collected information is to be protected against loss, misuse or disclosure
  • the individual has the right to access their personal information
  • the individual has the right to request correction of their personal information
  • information is not to be used unless reasonable steps have been taken to ensure it is accurate, complete, relevant, up to date and not misleading
  • information is not to be kept for longer than necessary
  • information is not to be used for purposes other than that for which it was collected
  • information is not to be disclosed to other parties
  • no two parties can share the same unique identifier for the same individual such as IRD number, bank customer number, drivers licence or passport number.

Using your rights

If you believe your rights have been breached under either the Code of Health and Disability Consumers’ Rights or the Health Information Privacy Code please advise us.


Ministry of Health

Health & Disability Commission

Your health information