Making a complaint about Whaikaha

It is your right to give feedback or to make a complaint about Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People or Whaikaha staff members.

This page is about how you can make a complaint about Whaikaha staff or processes and what our approach to assessing that complaint might look like.

There is a different process in place for assessing complaints about disability supports or services.

To make a complaint or give feedback about disability supports or services please visit our disability services complaints and feedback page.

What you can complain about

If you have a concern about a Whaikaha staff member or policy, you have the right to submit a complaint to Whaikaha. It is important to us that every complaint submitted is assessed appropriately and transparently.

These are only some examples of what a complaint could be about:

  • If you believe you have been unfairly treated by a staff member
  • If you have concerns that staff have not appropriately followed a Whaikaha process
  • If you believe a Whaikaha process results in inappropriate outcomes.

Making a complaint

You can make a complaint to Whaikaha by:

  • emailing details to You can also request a phone call, or a meeting with a New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreter by email.
  • Posting details to: Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People, Reply Paid: 262204. PO BOX 1556. Wellington 6140.

You can submit your complaint in English, NZSL or te reo Māori.

What to include in your complaint

For Whaikaha to respond to your complaint, we need the following information:

  • Your contact details.
  • What your complaint is about, or who it is about.
  • Consent to share information or clarification about what can be shared.

To help us you can also include information on:

  • why you have decided to complain
  • if your complaint includes other agencies, and if these agencies have also been contacted
  • what resolution looks like for you.

The complaints process

This is a summary of the process we will go through once we receive your complaint and to ensure it is handled appropriately and transparently.

You can also find information about the expected behaviours of Whaikaha staff in the complaints process on our website.

1. Receiving the complaint

Once we receive your complaint, we will respond to tell you we have received it within two to three working days.

We may also ask you for more information if it is needed.

2. Assessing the complaint

We will begin assessing your complaint once we have the information we need, which should be within seven working days of us receiving your complaint or once any further information we require to assess the complaint has been received.

If your complaint is more complicated, it may require more care and time to understand. If this is the case, we will get in touch with you and discuss any delays.

Assessment will be undertaken by a relevant complaint lead in Whaikaha. For example, a manager or a panel of peers.

The complaint lead will:

  1. review information, including from internal sources as relevant for your complaint, and
  2. assess your complaint and decide on the best course of action.

3. Taking action

There are multiple actions Whaikaha might take. Throughout this process we may:

  1. resolve it quickly without a formal process
  2. work with you on the complaint. This might involve phone calls or meetings
  3. decide the complaint should be investigated further.

If resolving the complaint is expected to take more than 20 working days, we will get in touch at the earliest opportunity and discuss the reasons why we need to take longer.

4. Outcomes and next steps

Once the complaint has been assessed and the next steps decided, we will contact you and tell you how we have addressed the complaint. We will provide information, such as:

  1. the outcome(s) of the complaint
  2. reasons for any decisions and actions
  3. any remaining issues that need to be followed up
  4. if applicable, what we are doing to make the situation better
  5. information about what else you can do if you are not happy with the outcome. For example, contacting the Ombudsman.

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

The Office of the Ombudsman 

The Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner 

The Human Rights Commission 

The Privacy Commission