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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Your rights as a teenager

Āu motika hei rangatahi

In New Zealand, you are considered an adult when you turn 18. But while a rangatahi (young person) aged under 18 is legally considered a tamariki (child), you still have rights. Rights are there to make sure you are kept safe and receive fair treatment.

Everyone has rights whatever your gender, sexual identity, religion or culture. Also, whether you are rich or poor, speak a different language or have a disability.

If you ever see a doctor, counsellor, physio or another health provider, you are a health consumer. And as a health consumer in New Zealand, you have rights. This page explains what the Code of Rights is and what to do if you are concerned about the service you have received. Youth Law also has a page outlining your rights as a health consumer.

You also have human rights that everyone should respect, no matter who they are or what their relationship to you is. Youth Law has information about your rights at home, school and work. And when dealing with the police, when in a relationship and more.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed October 2023.

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Your health rights

Page reference: 53212

Review key: HIYRI-53212