Code of Practice

Our mission is to promote & protect the rights of health and disability services consumers through empowerment advocacy.Close quote

Purpose of Health and Disability Advocates

Advocates aim to assist consumers to achieve consumer-centred health and disability services and resolve complaints by:

  • Providing advocacy services that focus on the resolution of consumers' concerns and complaints
  • Promoting respectful relationships, whanaungatanga and communication
  • Empowering and supporting consumers/complainants to take their own action to improve health and disability services
  • Providing services that are responsive to the needs and aspirations of tangata whenua
  • Educating both providers and consumers on consumer rights

Independence and accessibility

Health and Disability Advocacy services will:

  • Be easy to contact
  • Be well linked to their community and local networks
  • Provide advocacy that is free and independent
  • Provide independent information about consumer rights and options for dealing with concerns, including how an advocate can assist

Confidential and ethical practice

Health and Disability Advocates will:

  • Be trustworthy, act in a non-judgemental way and treat others with respect
  • Listen, encourage and validate the consumer's views, taking into account cultural values, beliefs and the unique place of tangata whenua
  • Avoid conflicts of interest, and act honestly and in good faith at all times
  • Provide consumers with access to their advocacy record, keep information confidential and not disclose information without the proper authority unless safety is compromised
  • Be reliable and follow through on actions agreed between the consumer or the consumer's representative; and provide a level of stability, safety and clarity in meetings and other resolution processes

Quality improvement and professional practice

Advocates will:

  • Work to continuously improve quality of service to consumers through ongoing training, professional development, and quality improvement activities
  • Use appropriate support such as mentoring, peer support, and supervision
  • Be accountable, seek consumer feedback, take part in regular review of their practice, and participate in monitoring and evaluation of their work
  • Demonstrate commitment to the vision, values, and standards of the Nationwide Advocacy Service and the principles of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights


Complaints about the Advocacy Service and/or an advocate can be directed to the National Service Manager.  Phone 0800 555 050, email

Last reviewed February 2019