Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Health
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Reprint as at 1 July 2012

Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994

Public Act1994 No 88
Date of assent20 October 1994
Commencementsee section 1


Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Health.



1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

3 Definition of health care provider

4 Definition of registered health professional [Repealed]

5 Act to bind the Crown

6 Purpose

7 Strategies and objectives to be taken into account

Part 1
Health and Disability Commissioner

8 Health and Disability Commissioner

9 Deputy Commissioners and Mental Health Commissioner

10 Qualifications for appointment

11 Commissioner to hold no other office [Repealed]

12 Term of office [Repealed]

13 Vacation of office [Repealed]

14 Functions of Commissioner

15 Director of Proceedings

16 Annual report [Repealed]

17 Further provisions relating to Commissioner

18 Review of operation of Act

Part 2
Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights

19 Commissioner to prepare draft Code

20 Content of Code

21 Review of Code

22 Notification of intention to forward draft Code to Minister

23 Consultation on preparation and review of Code

Part 3
Health and Disability Services Consumer Advocacy Service

24 Director of Health and Disability Services Consumer Advocacy

25 Functions of Director of Advocacy

26 Advocacy services to operate independently

27 Purchase of consumer advocacy services

28 Guidelines for operation of advocacy services

29 Consultation on preparation of guidelines

30 Functions of advocates

Part 4
Complaints and investigations

Receipt of complaints

31 General right to make complaints

32 Complaints referred to Commissioner

33 Preliminary assessment

Referral of complaints to agencies, persons, statutory officers, or advocates

34 Referral of complaint to agencies or persons involved in health or disability sector

35 Agencies or persons to keep Commissioner informed about referred complaints

36 Referrals of complaints to certain statutory officers

37 Commissioner may refer complaint to advocate

Decision to take no action

38 Commissioner may decide to take no action on complaint

Commissioner required to share certain information

39 Commissioner to inform agencies of certain risks

Investigations by Commissioner

40 Commissioner may investigate breaches

41 Complainant and provider to be notified of investigation

42 On notification of investigation authority not to take disciplinary action until further notice

43 Information about result of investigation

44 Consultation required before matter referred to Director of Proceedings

45 Procedure after investigation

46 Implementation of recommendations of Commissioner

47 Director of Proceedings’ right to participate in disciplinary and other proceedings

48 Commissioner to report certain matters to appropriate authority [Repealed]

49 Functions of Director of Proceedings

Proceedings before Human Rights Review Tribunal

50 Proceedings before Human Rights Review Tribunal

51 Aggrieved person may bring proceedings before Tribunal

52 Remedies that may be sought

53 Limitation on right to bring proceedings

54 Powers of Human Rights Review Tribunal

55 Right of Director of Proceedings to appear in proceedings

56 Proof of exceptions

57 Damages

58 Certain provisions of Human Rights Act 1993 to apply

Part 5
Miscellaneous provisions

Miscellaneous provisions

59 Procedure

60 Duty to forward complaints

61 Mediation conference

62 Evidence

63 Protection and privileges of witnesses, etc

64 Disclosure of certain matters not to be required

65 Proceedings privileged

66 Corrupt use of official information [Repealed]

67 Adverse comment


68 Delegation of functions and powers

69 Further provisions relating to delegations

70 Delegate to produce evidence of authority

71 Revocation of delegations

Vicarious liability

72 Liability of employer and principal


73 Offences


74 Regulations

75 Where regulations made against or without advice of Commissioner

Amendments to other enactments

76 Amendments to Ombudsmen Act 1975

77 Amendments to Higher Salaries Commission Act 1977 [Repealed]

78 Amendment to Public Finance Act 1989 [Repealed]

79 Amendment to Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992

80 Amendments to Health Reforms (Transitional Provisions) Act 1993

81 Amendments to Privacy Act 1993

82 Amendment to Human Rights Act 1993

Schedule 1
Former health registration enactments

Schedule 2
Provisions applying in respect of Commissioner

Mental Health Commission Amendment Act 2012

Reprint notes

An Act to promote and protect the rights of health consumers and disability services consumers, and, in particular,—

  • (a) to secure the fair, simple, speedy, and efficient resolution of complaints relating to infringements of those rights; and

  • (b) to provide for the appointment of a Health and Disability Commissioner to investigate complaints against persons or bodies who provide health care or disability services; and to define the Commissioner’s functions and powers; and

  • (c) to provide for the establishment of a Health and Disability Services Consumer Advocacy Service; and

  • (d) to provide for the promulgation of a Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’s Rights; and

  • (e) to provide for matters incidental thereto