Te whakatakoto kōamuamu Make a complaint about us

On this page you can find out how we handle complaints:

Consumer complaints

Te Hiringa Mahara does not handle complaints about individual or whānau experiences of using mental health and / or addiction services. These complaints are managed by the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC).

People who have concerns about the care they or others have experienced at a mental health or addiction service should contact the Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service or make a complaint to the HDC.

The Advocacy Service can help people with concerns about a provider or service. Call them for free on 0800 555 050 or visit their website to email or live chat.

Making a complaint about us or our work

Te Hiringa Mahara is committed to providing quality reporting, advice, and communications about mental health and wellbeing in Aotearoa to the public and all our stakeholders.

If you have concerns about the way we are working, we would like to hear from you. We will work with you to not only put right your complaint, but to improve our reporting, advice, and communications for everyone.

How to make a complaint

You, or your advocate, can contact us by email at kiaora@mhwc.govt.nz. It will help us to quickly identify your complaint if you write ‘Complaint’ in the subject line.

Or you can write to us at:

Te Hiringa Mahara

DX Box SP22502


When you make a complaint, please tell us:

  • your name
  • your home address and / or email address, depending on how you want us to contact you
  • your contact phone number
  • details about your complaint.

We will only use your contact details so that we can respond directly to you. We will hold your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993 and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994. We will not disclose your information publicly and treat your information with respect.

However, if you wish to make a complaint anonymously it will be treated with the same level of importance and we will still act on the information you give us.

Our follow-up

We will look into your complaint immediately to see what went wrong and how this can be put right.

We will acknowledge your complaint in writing and also let you know what we’ll do to resolve it.

If we need to work with others to resolve your complaint, this may take time. However, we’ll provide regular updates until the matter is resolved.

Dealing with your complaint

When we deal with your complaint, we will:

  • make it easy for you to deal with us, with minimal effort on your part
  • try to see things from your perspective, to understand and address why you think we were wrong or have caused harm
  • communicate in a way that is easy to understand
  • be fair and act with integrity.

How long will it take?

We will endeavour to resolve your complaint as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after we receive it. In some cases getting the right information to respond to your complaint may involve others. If this is the case we will let you know and the timeframes may be extended.

You will always be advised in writing when your complaint has been received.

Our commitment to resolving your complaint

All complaints are taken seriously and handled with immediate priority. We will ensure you are treated with respect and in a professional manner.

If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint

We will do our best to ensure you are satisfied with the outcome of your complaint investigation. However, if you are not happy with our response or you think you have been treated unfairly, you may complain to the Ombudsman.

Make a complaint about our privacy and security policy

If you have any questions or concerns about this Privacy and Security Policy, or about the way in which Te Hiringa Mahara handles your personal information, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

You can contact us in the following ways: 

By Post: 
The Privacy Officer   
Te Hiringa Mahara   
DX Box SP22502   

By Email: kiaora@mhwc.govt.nz 

Please include your contact details in your correspondence so that we can get back to you as quickly as possible. If you are writing to request access to your personal information, please include as much detail as possible to help us locate your records. 

Please include 'Privacy Complaint' in the subject line of your email or at the top of your letter to help us quickly identify and address your complaint. 

Complaint Resolution Process 

Upon receiving your complaint, we will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days.
  • Conduct a thorough investigation into the issues raised, maintaining communication with you throughout this process.
  • Endeavour to resolve the complaint and respond to you with our findings within 20 working days.

If the complaint is complex and we need more time to respond, we will inform you of the delay, the reasons for it, and provide a new timeframe. 

Complaint to privacy commissioner or ombudsman 

If you are not satisfied with our response or the way we handled your complaint, you have the right to make a complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner or the Ombudsman, depending on the nature of your complaint.  

More information on the process for lodging a complaint can be found on the Office of the Ombudsman's website or the Privacy Commissioner's website.