The main role of the Health and Disability Commissioner is to ensure that rights of consumers are upheld. This includes making sure that complaints about health or disability service providers are taken care of fairly and efficiently. Morag McDowell, Health and Disability Commissioner, began her term in September 2020.
Morag takes up the role after serving nearly 13 years as a Coroner based in Auckland. She was formerly a Crown Prosecutor, Director of Proceedings for the Health and Disability Commissioner’s Office, and a Senior Legal Adviser at Crown Law. Since completing her Master of Laws degree, her legal practice has had a strong focus on healthcare law, and she has appeared in different courts and tribunals on a variety of health-related litigation. She has also lectured and published on a range of medico-legal issues.
Morag is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of health and disability services consumers where the Code sets the benchmark for good practice, and opportunities for learning and quality improvement are embraced. She strongly values the importance of fair, timely, transparent, and culturally appropriate processes where people are engaged, and given the opportunity to be heard.
Deputy Commissioner, Disability
Rose was appointed HDC’s Deputy Commissioner, Disability in August 2013.
A nurse by training, Rose has been involved in the public health system for most of her career. Over the past 30-odd years she has worked in a number of different areas. This has given her a broad insight into service quality, government strategy, the regulatory environment, and how the health and disability system works.
Rose’s role at HDC fulfils her natural desire to help people, particularly the more vulnerable who are less able to speak up for themselves.
Kevin Allan began his term in February 2016, and will continue in the role of Deputy Commissioner until the end of September 2021. He held the role of Mental Health Commissioner until February 2021, when the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission took on the monitoring and advocacy function for mental health and addiction services.
Mr Allan has a longstanding commitment to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate fully in the community and to access high quality health, disability, and social services.
Mr Allan came to HDC after three years as Deputy Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer at the Crown Law Office. Prior to that, he held senior leadership roles in the health, disability and justice sectors, in the public and not-for-profit sectors. His previous roles include Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice and Chief Executive of New Zealand CCS Disability Action.
Mr Allan holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Canterbury.