This page provides links to some of the key legislation and codes relevant to kaiāwhina.
Human Rights Act 1993
Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms we are all entitled to, no matter what our age, ethnicity, culture, religion or sex. Unlawful discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfairly or less favourably than another person in the same or similar circumstances.
Privacy Act 1993
Promotes and protects individual privacy and controls how 'agencies' collect, use, disclose, store and give access to personal information. The Act applies to almost every person, business or organisation in New Zealand. Under the Act, consumers also have a right to obtain access to personal information.
These are some useful resources about managing privacy rights:
- health information privacy factsheets
- free online privacy training
- e-learning modules on privacy rights.
Health Information Privacy Code 1994
The Code specifies extra protection to health information because of its sensitivity. It covers all health agencies and protects all personal health information relating to an identifiable individual.
New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000
The Act provides the underpinning legislation for the provision of health and disability services to New Zealand citizens. It is specific to all public services whether these are provided directly by district health boards (DHBs) or delivered by a third-party provider through a contract.
Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
This Act requires that all workers and others are given the highest level of protection from workplace health and safety risks, so far as is reasonably practicable. This includes risks to both physical and mental health. A reference guide summarises the key components.
Employment Relations Act 2000
Employers must treat employees fairly, pay at least the minimum wage set by the Government, and meet their other employment law obligations.
- Know your employment rights is an outline of some key minimum employment rights.
- There is a range of legislation relevant to employment relationships available.
- The Employment New Zealand website may also be of interest.
Statutory frameworks relevant to kaiāwhina
In-Between Travel Settlement (2014)
Home support workers are paid for their travel time between visits and receive a standard rate for travel reimbursement.
Guaranteed hours (2017)
This guidance is for the use of employees, providers and funders for the in-between travel settlement (IBT) on guaranteed hours.
Pay equity settlements (2017 and 2018)
All employees covered by the settlement receive wage rates based on their level of qualification or length of service, whichever is the most advantageous to them. The settlement also requires employers to provide support for employees to achieve qualifications within a given period.
For qualification-based pay equity, support workers either need to have an actual New Zealand Certificate in Health & Wellbeing (Level 2–4), or a qualification which has been assessed as equivalent to it. The Ministry of Health provides information about the qualifications assessed for equivalence.
Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992
The Act protects the rights of people experiencing a mental illness. It includes the right to only be admitted to hospital against their will when absolutely essential to protect their wellbeing or safety, or for the protection of other people.
Additional guidance published in September 2020, explains the responsibilities of mental health services and clinicians.
Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act
This act protects the health and safety of the public by ensuring the life-long competence of health practitioners. Not all health professions are regulated under the Act. Not being regulated under the Act does not imply that a profession lacks professional standards. There are a variety of reasons why this may be the case, more information is available on the Ministry of Health website.