Legislative Acts which establish boundaries of massage practice in New Zealand/Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994

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Objectives of the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994

The purpose of the Act is to promote the rights of health and disability consumers, particularly with regard to:

  • secure the fair, simple, speedy, and efficient resolution of complaints relating to infringements of those rights; and
  • 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
  • define the Commissioner’s functions and powers; and
  • provide for the establishment of a Health and Disability Service Consumer Advocacy Service; and
  • provide for the promulgation of a Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights

Code of Health and Disability Consumers’ Rights

The code confers a number of rights on all consumers of health and disability services in New Zealand. It places corresponding obligations on all registered health professionals (including massage therapists) who provide those services.

It is the duty and obligation of providers to comply with the code to ensure that they promote awareness of it to consumers, and to enable consumers to exercise their rights.

Under the code, the 10 rights of consumers and duties of providers are as follows:

Right 1: The right to be treated with respect
Right 2: The right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment and exploitation
Right 3: The right to dignity and independence
Right 4: The right to services of an appropriate standard
Right 5: The right to effective communication
Right 6: The right to be fully informed
Right 7: The right to make an informed choice and give informed consent
Right 8: The right to support
Right 9: Rights in respect of teaching or research  
Right 10: The right to complain