Health Act 1956

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Health
22F Communication of information for diagnostic and other purposes


Every person who holds health information of any kind shall, at the request of the individual about whom the information is held, or a representative of that individual, or any other person that is providing, or is to provide, services to that individual, disclose that information to that individual or, as the case requires, to that representative or to that other person.


A person that holds health information may refuse to disclose that information under this section if—


that person has a lawful excuse for not disclosing that information; or


where the information is requested by someone other than the individual about whom it is held (not being a representative of that individual), the holder of the information has reasonable grounds for believing that that individual does not wish the information to be disclosed; or


refusal is authorised by a code of practice issued under section 32 of the Privacy Act 2020.


For the purposes of subsection (2)(a), neither—


the fact that any payment due to the holder of any information or to any other person has not been made; nor


the need to avoid prejudice to the commercial position of the holder of any information or of any other person; nor


the fact that disclosure is not permitted under any of the information privacy principles set out in section 22 of the Privacy Act 2020

shall constitute a lawful excuse for not disclosing information under this section.


Where any person refuses to disclose health information in response to a request made under this section, the person whose request is refused may make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner under Part 5 of the Privacy Act 2020, and that Part of that Act, so far as applicable and with all necessary modifications, shall apply in relation to that complaint as if the refusal to which the complaint relates were a refusal to make information available in response to an information privacy request within the meaning of that Act.


Nothing in subsection (4) limits any other remedy that is available to any person who is aggrieved by any refusal to disclose information under this section.

Section 22F: replaced, on 1 July 1993, by section 2 of the Health Amendment Act (No 2) 1993 (1993 No 32).

Section 22F(1): amended, on 1 January 2001, by section 111(1) of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 (2000 No 91).

Section 22F(2)(c): amended, on 1 December 2020, by section 217 of the Privacy Act 2020 (2020 No 31).

Section 22F(3)(c): amended, on 1 December 2020, by section 217 of the Privacy Act 2020 (2020 No 31).

Section 22F(4): amended, on 1 December 2020, by section 217 of the Privacy Act 2020 (2020 No 31).