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Making a complaint

The Ministry of Social Development is committed to delivering first class services and providing dependable advice.

If you think we are not meeting this standard we would like to hear from you. Not only so we can put right your complaint, but to improve our services for everyone.

How to make a complaint

If you have a complaint it is best to contact the manager of the particular office concerned first

There are several ways you can do this:

When you make a complaint please tell us:

  • Your name
  • Your address and contact details
  • Your client number if known
  • Details about the complaint

We ask for your contact details so we can respond directly to you. However if you wish to make a complaint anonymously it will be treated with the same level of importance.

If you’d like to remain anonymous we’ll still act on the information you give us.

Our follow-up

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

We’ll acknowledge your complaint by phone or email 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.

How long will it take?

We will endeavour to resolve your complaint immediately. If we need to work with others to resolve your complaint it may take longer. 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.

Who is responsible for the complaint?

Your complaint will be assigned to the appropriate business unit within the Ministry and escalated accordingly.

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 there are other people you may choose to contact such as your local member of Parliament, the Minister of Social Development and Employment, The Ombudsman or the Privacy Commissioner.

For further information visit the New Zealand government portal.


Making a claim of abuse or neglect while in state care

If you believe you have been badly treated or neglected while in the care of the Child Welfare Division, the Department of Social Welfare, or Child, Youth and Family, the Ministry of Social Development wants to work with you to see if we can help.

Review of a decision

The review of decision process is what happens when you disagree with a decision the Ministry has made about your income support, pension or an application you have made.