Disability services complaints and feedback
Find out how to make a complaint or provide feedback about Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People funded disability supports and services and what happens after.
To make a complaint about Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People or Whaikaha staff, please visit our making a complaint about Whaikaha page.
We understand that sometimes our supports and services do not meet everyone’s expectations or requirements and may result in a disappointing experience. We want you to have good quality disability services and feel safe and supported at all times.
Hearing from you, good and bad, helps us to improve and become better at delivering supports and services that truly meet the needs of our community.
Complaints can be made by you or another person on your behalf, such as a family member, whānau, friend or advocate. If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone who is receiving a Whaikaha funded service, we may need to check to ensure the person who received the services consents to you doing this.
What can you complain about?
A complaint is when you are not happy, and you want to tell someone the reason. There are no rules around what parts of Whaikaha funded disability supports and services you can and can't complain about.
If you complain to Whaikaha about a service or provider that we do not fund, we are unlikely to be able to help you. But someone will tell you who to contact instead.
Examples of complaints received in the past about Whaikaha funded services have included:
- quality of care
- supports are not responsive to te ao Māori
- choice of activities at home
- personal care and hygiene
- food choices
- treatment by a support worker
- physical environment (such as your home).
What to expect when you make a complaint
If you make a complaint you can expect that:
- there will be someone you can talk with about your concerns
- your concerns will be taken seriously
- you will be treated with respect
- your privacy and confidentiality will be respected
- we will work with you to resolve any concern as quickly as possible
- you will know the outcome of your complaint.
Please feel assured that making a complaint will not affect the care you receive and you will not get into trouble. Your complaint will only be discussed with the people directly involved.
How to make a complaint or provide feedback
We recommend making a complaint or providing feedback as soon as you can, so we can start work on getting you the support you need. You can make a complaint or provide feedback in the following ways:
Complain or provide feedback to Whaikaha
The information you give us is confidential. It will only be shared with the people directly involved in managing your complaint or feedback. You will be asked to give us your consent about what information you are happy for us to share. If you do not feel comfortable, you do not have to tell us your name.
We want to hear about your experience with your service provider or disability supports. Your honest feedback helps us assess what is going well for you and where the opportunities are to make improvements. This can include positive feedback, suggestions, ideas, concerns or complaints.
To make a complaint, please download and fill in the following form:
Complaint Form (DOCX 98KB) for support and services Use this form if you want to make a complaint about a service.
To give feedback, please download and fill in the following form:
- Feedback Form (DOCX 94KB) for support and Services Use this form if you have positive or general feedback, suggestions, ideas or concerns that you don't think fit under the category of complaints.
You can send us your completed form:
- by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- by free post to: Complaints/Feedback Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People, Reply Paid: 262204 PO BOX 1556 Wellington 6140
If you can't use the form
If you prefer to talk to someone or are unable to fill out the form, please contact us by:
- calling 0800 566 601 (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm)
- text 4206
- email us at email@example.com
All complaints will be taken seriously.
Complain directly to your service provider
Sometimes, it might be quicker and easier for you to raise issues directly with your service provider.
They are there to support you and should listen to you, and often after a good honest conversation, your issue can be dealt with straight away.
If you like, you can have a family member, whānau, friend, or an advocate present when you meet with your service provider.
Whether you make your complaint in person, in writing or anonymously, to your service provider or directly to Whaikaha, your complaint will be responded to.
Details of your complaint will only be shared with the people directly involved in managing your complaint.
Your disability service provider must:
- give you written information about how to make a complaint.
- tell you what the complaints process is, for example, who you can go and complain to.
- tell you what is happening with your complaint.
- let you know what else you can do.
Get support with making a complaint
You can ask an advocate, friend, support worker, family member or whānau to help you make a complaint.
There are also other services available that can support you:
- New Zealand Relay Service external URL : You can contact the New Zealand Relay Service for help making a complaint. Relay services are for people who are Deaf, hearing impaired, Deafblind, and for those with speech impairments who want to communicate with friends, family or organisations. You can phone them on 0800 771 771.
- Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service external URL : If you need support with making a complaint, you can contact the Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service, a free independent service that offers advice and support related to the complaints process. You can contact them by phone on 0800 555 050 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens after you make a complaint or give feedback to Whaikaha
If you make a complaint or give feedback to Whaikaha, we will contact you within five working days.
We may need to talk to other people about your complaint. This may include talking to other people involved. We will need your consent to do this. Depending on the nature of your feedback, we will let you know next steps via email. If you would prefer to be contacted another way, for example by phone, please let us know when you make the complaint.
We will let you know the outcome of your complaint and the reasons for our decisions. We aim to resolve complaints within 20 working days.
More complex complaints may take longer than 20 days to assess and resolve. If your complaint is complex and will take longer to work through, the person dealing with your complaint at Whaikaha will communicate this to you and will provide you with regular updates within reasonable timeframes.
What can I do if I'm not satisfied with the outcome of my complaint?
We will do our best to ensure you are satisfied with the outcome of your complaint investigation.
However, if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, or you would like to take it further, there are several ways you can have your complaint independently reviewed. You can contact:
The Nationwide Advocacy Service
- Freephone 0800 55 50 50,
- email email@example.com
- or go to their website advocacy.org.nz external URL
The Office of the Ombudsman
- Freephone 0800 80 26 02
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- or go to their website ombudsman.parliament.nz external URL
The Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner
The Human Rights Commission
- Freephone 0800 49 68 77
- email email@example.com
- or go to their website tikatangata.org.nz external URL