The Cartwright Inquiry

The Cartwright Inquiry and subsequent report and
recommendations had an enormous influence on the
early years of the AWHC and left an indelible mark
on the
health landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Code of Consumers' Rights

You have rights as a patient and health and disability services consumer, rights that
are set out in the
Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.


A crucial part of the work we do at Auckland Women’s Health Council
involves participating in consultations on various health issues that
impact women and their families. We make regular written
and oral submissions on a wide range of topics.


The Auckland Women’s Health Council publishes a bi-monthly
newsletter known for its in-depth research and hard-hitting
reporting of women’s health issues.

The Auckland Women’s Health Council is a voluntary organisation of individual women and women’s groups who have an interest in and commitment to women’s health issues. The organisation was formed in 1988 to provide a voice on women’s health issues in the Auckland region.

The Council has a special interest in patient rights, informed consent and decision-making in health care, health consumer advocacy, the Code of Health Consumers’ Rights, the National Cervical Screening Programme, and ethics – issues that were highlighted during the Inquiry into the treatment of cervical cancer at National Women’s Hospital in 1987-88 and in the recommendations contained in the report known as the Cartwright Report.

Our Philosophy

The Auckland Women’s Health Council is a feminist organisation. We believe:

  • Women users of health services have the right to make informed decisions regarding their own health care and treatment
  • Women have the right to the information necessary to enable them to make informed decisions
  • Health care must be accessible, affordable and available as well as culturally appropriate and acceptable to women
  • Consumer participation on all decision-making processes for health care services is essential.


All women in Auckland have agency over their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being and are fully informed of health services available and have access to them, particularly Māori women.


To provide an independent feminist voice focused on women’s/family health and health services in Auckland.


Women in Auckland have the right to make informed decisions regarding their own health care and treatment. 

  • Women in Auckland participate in all decision-making processes for health care services.
  • Women in Auckland have accessible, affordable, available, and accountable health care services.
  • Ensuring the work of the Council continues to be sustainable and to grow.

Two Petitions that need your support...

Protect our school lunches - Health Coalition Aotearoa

Health Coalition Aotearoa (HCA), of which AWHC are members, have launched a petition calling on the Government NOT to cut the free school lunches programme.

Many tamariki in Aotearoa New Zealand go hungry! For whatever reason a child may go to school hungry or with no lunch, it is not their fault.

The coalition Government plans to cut funding to Ka Ora, Ka Ako – a programme that reduces food insecurity by providing access to a nutritious lunch every day.

Research from the Program for International Student Achievement shows that students who miss meals due to lack of money are two to four years behind their peers who never miss meals, in educational achievement.

The provision of lunches to students has helped families financially and reduced their food bill and encouraged children to make healthier food choices, and has reduced the number of children/rangatahi who have to work to help their family pay for the basics.

Sign the petition and support some of our most vulnerable children.

Essure Petition

Catrina McGregor has launched a Parliamentary petition asking the Government to initiate a full investigation into the promotion, funding, distribution and prescription of all Essure devices for NZ women; find, contact, and advise women who received these devices that they have been recalled; and offer full ACC coverage for any Essure-related care they may require. In providing a reason for the petition, Catrina says:

“Essure devices are permanent contraceptive implants, recalled worldwide after women internationally suffered complications that I believe were catastrophic, life-threatening, and life-altering and included hysterectomies, agonising pain, bleeding, hair and tooth loss, and crippling immune system disorders, among other ill effects. While Essure has been recalled in NZ, women who received it have not been notified of the updated risks and ACC deny coverage for most Essure-related care.”

Support the women living everyday with the harm caused by Essure – sign Catrina McGregor’s petition that demands action on behalf of those women. The petition closes on the 31st of May 2024.

Our Community

Our Supporters

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Cartwright Collective
Health Coalition Aotearoa

Auckland Women’s Health Council is immensely grateful to numero ®️, who built our website at next to no cost. numero ®️ is also sponsoring the website hosting and providing ongoing technical support


Auckland Women’s Health Council also acknowledges and thanks our funders, Lottery Community and COGS. Without their ongoing funding and support we would not be able to continue our work.