Professor Ron Paterson

LLB(Hons), BCL

Profile Image


Ron Paterson has been a Lecturer / Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland Faculty of Law 1986–99 and Professor of Law since 2010. He is also a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Melbourne Law School. His career has been spent in tertiary education and in public service roles. Ron was a Deputy Director-General of Health 1999–2000, Health and Disability Commissioner 2000–2010, Chair of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2010–13, and Parliamentary Ombudsman 2013–16.

With law degrees from Auckland and Oxford Universities, Ron has held Fulbright and Harkness Fellowships, in biomedical ethics and health policy. He has researched and lectured in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia, and is an international expert on complaints, healthcare quality and the regulation of health professions.

Ron has undertaken several major Health reviews in Australia, including the Review of National Arrangements for Safety & Quality of Health Care in Australia (2005), the Independent Review of the Use of Chaperones to Protect Patients in Australia (2017), and the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes (2017). Major reviews undertaken in New Zealand include the Counties Manukau Maternity Care Review (2012), the Waitemata District Health Board Quality Review (2013), and the Review of the Operation of the Veterans’ Support Act (2017-18). He is Chair of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.

Ron is co-editor of Health Law in New Zealand (2015) and author of The Good Doctor: What Patients Want (2012). Ron was awarded an ONZM for services to health in 2011, and made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2014.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Paterson, R. (2017). How well is the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 working? A chance to have your say. Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Defence Force. Related URL.
  • Paterson, R. (2017). Making a difference: An international perspective on the importance of complaints. Paper presented at Complaints Matter, Adelaide, Australia. 27 April - 27 April 2017. Related URL.
  • Paterson, R. (2017). What patients want: Competent oral health therapists. Paper presented at Dental Council Symposium, Wellington, New Zealand. 17 March - 17 March 2017. Related URL.
  • Paterson, R. J. (2015). Care, compassion and charity: do they have a place in modern medicine?. New Zealand Medical Journal, 128 (1427), 47-54.
  • Paterson, R. (2015). “Just ask Judi”: A patient’s story of care at the end of life. Paper presented at Forum with Dr Atul Gawande, Wellington, New Zealand. 18 May - 18 May 2015. Related URL.
  • Skegg, P. D. G., & Paterson, R. (Eds.) (2015). Health law in New Zealand. Wellington, NZ: Thomson Reuters.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jo Manning
  • Paterson, R. (2013). Not so random: patient complaints and ‘frequent flier’ doctors. BMJ Quality & Safety, 22 (7), 525-527. 10.1136/bmjqs-2013-001902
  • Paterson, R. J. (2013). From prosecution to rehabilitation: New Zealandʼs response to health practitioner negligence. In D. Griffiths, A. Sanders (Eds.) Bioethics, medicine and the criminal law. Volume 2: Medicine, crime and society (pp. 229-247). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139109376

Contact details

Primary office location

17 EDEN CRESCENT - Bldg 803
Level 2, Room 218
New Zealand