Expected behaviours of staff in complaints process

Read about the expected behaviours of Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People staff within the complaints and feedback process, and how they relate to Enabling Good Lives principles. 

Expected Behaviours of staff

Whaikaha staff will act with integrity and according to good feedback and complaint management principles 

Staff will uphold the rights of disabled people and will: 

  • recognise that disabled people have the right to participate in society  
  • uphold the rights of disabled people, including according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights 
  • work in a way that is consistent with Putting People First and international best practice for the disability sector 

Staff will have an open and responsive complaints process and will: 

  • encourage an environment where it is okay to complain  
  • uphold the right of people to raise concerns without fear of reprisals 
  • aim to resolve complaints at the lowest possible level 
  • acknowledge receipt of the complaint early 

Staff will treat all parties fairly and will: 

  • be respectful, objective, and unbiased. Our processes will be thorough 
  • not share or publish confidential or identifiable information 
  • treat all parties according to the principles of natural justice. These are:  
  • freedom from bias  
  • transparency and fairness of the process  
  • all parties are given the opportunity to respond 

Staff are accountable for what they do and will: 

  • always act with integrity  
  • build trust and confidence in Whaikaha  
  • ensure their decisions are justifiable 
  • be open to appropriate levels of scrutiny 
  • guide their actions by reasonable and proportionate management according to risk 

Staff will learn and improve and will: 

  • learn from feedback and complaints to continually seek ways to improve how we do things   

Acting according to Enabling Good Lives principles

Whaikaha staff will act according to the Enabling Good Lives principles 

Beginning early

Staff will: 

  • respond and act quickly to build a relationship of trust and confidence with the complainant 
  • proactively communicate with the complainant in a timely manner:  
  • when staff receive the complaint and gather information 
  • when staff provide updates  
  • when staff close the complaint   
  • aim to address the issue within our target timeframes 

Easy to use 

Staff will: 

  • provide clear and accessible information about the right to complain, how to complain, and where to complain  
  • have multiple accessible avenues to give feedback or make a complaint  

Person centred   

Staff will: 

  • respect people’s values knowledge, abilities, choices, and experiences 
  • utilise various ways to support the complainant through the process 
  • have a process that is flexible, responsive and based on the preferences of disabled people, and not ‘one size fits all’  
  • value different perspectives 

Ordinary life outcomes 

Staff will:

  • take action to resolve issues or concerns raised in a complaint  
  • have feedback and complaint management that supports the achievement of ordinary life outcomes for disabled people 
  • develop a purposeful relationship that is outcomes focused 

Mainstream first 

Staff will provide information about where people should go for different types of complaints   

Mana enhancing

Staff will: 

  • treat people with dignity and respect in all stages of the feedback and complaints process  
  • treat all complaints seriously 
  • provide the option for people to make confidential complaints 

Relationship building 

Staff will: 

  • build trusting relationships with all parties to achieve a successful resolution of the complaint 
  • have open and honest communication 


Staff will: 

  • provide information to support people to make informed decisions  
  • recognise that disabled people are recognised as the experts about their lives, wants, goals and aspirations. Their choices are respected  
  • proactively seek informed consent from the complainant about what information Whaikaha can share and with who