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/wāhine 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/wāhine.
  • Consumer participation on all decision-making processes for health care services is essential.


All women/wāhine in Tāmaki Makaurau and across Aotearoa New Zealand 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 wāhine Māori.


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


1. That the Council works towards becoming Tangata Tiriti as an organisation: to understand our responsibilities as a good Treaty partner; and to stand with tangata whenua in their language rights, their health rights, for the rights of their tamariki and wāhine. To find ways to honour the articles of Te Tiriti.

2. That women/wāhine have the right to make informed decisions regarding their own health care and treatment.

3. That women/wāhine participate in all decision-making processes for health care services.

4. That women/wāhine have accessible, affordable, available, accountable and culturally appropriate health care services.

5. That the work of the Council continues to be sustainable and to grow.

6. Increasing our links and collaborations with other women’s health related organisations.


Have Your Say!

PSC missing piece banner

Sign the petition for a Patient Safety Commissioner

An Independent Patient Safety Commissioner: the missing piece of the puzzle!
The Health Consumer Advocacy Alliance are asking the Government to establish a fully resourced, independent Patient Safety Commissioner (PSC) to take a proactive approach to preventing harm within healthcare, with powers to take or require action.
Too many people have been harmed or died in our health system because of system failures. Harm in healthcare is not being identified and properly monitored. Independent scrutiny is needed now. Things MUST change.
A consumer-focused PSC with a legislative mandate would have the power to take explicit action to prevent further harm. A PSC would analyse reporting systems, improve how harm is detected and acted upon, and reduce the incidence of harm and injury in health care.
Use your voice Twitter image

The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) is reviewing the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994 (the Act) and the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code).

They want to know how you think they can make the Act and the Code better. Submissions close at 5pm on Wednesday 31 July 2024.

Whakamahia tō reo | Use your voice – the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) is reviewing the Act and the Code.  The Act sets out what HDC can do, including how complaints can be resolved, and the Code sets out people’s rights when using health and disability services. HDC wants to know how you think they can make the Act and the Code better in a public consultation which runs until 31 July 2024.  Find out more, and have your say, at


Our Community

Our Supporters

FWHC 150 dpi 50 x 65
MSCC 150 dpi 150 x 150
New logo 25 April 2023 60mm 150 dpi
Cartwright Collective
Health Coalition Aotearoa

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.