The Privacy Act 1993 established the office of the Privacy Commissioner who developed the HIPC in 1994.

The Act and the Code established certain principles with respect to:



Under the HIPC clinicians must have the authorisation of the person receiving treatment before they are able to release information to family, friends etc. There are exceptions to this rule under Rule 11 of the Code. These include:


There is nothing in the Health Information Privacy Code to stop family/whanau support members giving information regarding their family member to the health agency providing treatment. The health agency may not be able to reciprocate this process unless they have authorisation or unless the above criteria are fulfilled.

For more information about the Privacy Act & HIPC, please contact:


Customer Service/Privacy Officers Taranaki District Health Board Phone: 06 7536139 Ext: 7825 or 8825


For more information about the Privacy Act, please contact: Privacy Commissioner, Tel 0800 303 909 (toll free) or go to:


The Mental Health Commission publishes an excellent booklet "Protecting Your Health Information - A guide to Privacy Issues for Users of the Mental Health Service". It was prepared by the Wellington Community Law Centre and is available at: 

Mental Health Commission P O Box 12749, WELLINGTON Phone (04) 474 8900 Or Email:


SF Taranaki (Supporting Families) is also a good source of information and advocacy for family members wanting to find out about their rights to information under the Privacy Act.

Tel:  (06) 757 9300 NEW PLYOUTH  Email: Tel:  (06) 278 6981 HAWERA or Email:  

For a full transcript of the Privacy Act 1993 - please click here