Key support person and patient advocates

Nominate a key support person for emotional and practical support, and information about patient advocacy services.

Key support person

We encourage you to nominate one support person to be with you outside usual visiting hours for times when you need the support of a family or whānau member.

This person will be noted on your care plan.

Your support person might help you during a medical consultation, wait with you before a procedure, assist you with cares, or be with you if you are seriously unwell or receiving bad news.

Some patients may have a support person from other agencies in place as determined by best practice.

 The support person will be welcomed, but not obliged, to be present with the patient to:

  • participate in clinical conversations and family meetings
  • participate in clinical handovers
  • help with basic/essential care needs (in agreement with appropriate staff)
    support the patient with decision making
  • help with the transition of care to the patient’s home.


During Covid-19 restrictions support persons are restricted to patients considered vulnerable. 

This includes children under 16, the elderly, have physical disabilities, be suffering from disorders affecting cognition and/or behaviour.  Consideration must also be made for the nature of the admission and the length of stay for a patient. 

Te Aka Matua Kaupapa Service

Te Aka Matua Service is committed to the achievement of health equity that results in Māori patients and their whānau being able to have at the least the same if not increased health status of those populations less impacted.

Achieving health equity requires a whole of government and system approach and increased focus on improving access to services for Māori.

The Te Aka Matua Service office is situated at the front entrance to the main hospital (Rotorua), opposite the Security and Attendants' station.

Advocacy services


The national Health and Disability Advocacy network provides a free service and can assist you to resolve your complaint about a health or disability service.

Health and Disability Advocacy
0800 555 050

The Code and your rights

  • The right to be treated with respect.
  • The right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment, and exploitation.
  • The right to dignity and independence.
  • The right to services of an appropriate standard.
  • The right to effective communication.
  • The right to be fully informed.
  • The right to make an informed choice and give informed consent.
  • The right to support.
  • Rights in respect of teaching or research.
  • The right to complain.

Visit to read the Code in full and learn more about your rights and the complaint's process.