Confusingly, there are three agencies with the power to investigate complaints about rest homes:

  • District health boards (DHBs): DHBs distribute public funding to rest homes. Under the terms of funding contracts, they can act on complaints and investigate any rest home to ensure it’s providing a safe service.
  • Ministry of Health: The Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act gives the ministry the power to enter and inspect any rest home to assess whether health care services are being provided in a safe and satisfactory manner.
  • Health and Disability Commissioner: The commissioner has the power to investigate complaints about the provision of a health or disability service to a rest-home resident.

Advocacy service

The Health and Disability Advocacy Service is also available to anyone with a concern about a rest home (or any other health or disability provider). It doesn’t have powers to investigate complaints: its role is to support consumers, as well as those acting on their behalf, in resolving problems. 


More information

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Report by Jessica Wilson.

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