Get involved in transforming mental health legislation

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has opened the consultation on repealing and replacing the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act.

 The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 has not kept pace with the shift towards a recovery and wellbeing approach to care and has never been comprehensively reviewed.

He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction  highlighted these issues. Since 2019, the MOH has been working on immediate, short-term improvements under the current legislation. This includes releasing new guidelines  to improve people’s experiences under the current Mental Health Act and making amendments to the Act to eliminate indefinite treatment orders, better protect people’s rights and improve safety.

MOH is now focusing on completely repealing and replacing the Mental Health Act and developing new mental health legislation for New Zealand. New legislation can support pae ora (healthy futures) by supporting self-determination and enhancing mana, encouraging whānau involvement, and strengthening recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Although the Mental Health Act is only used for a small proportion of people each year, it has significant impact on the lives of those who do experience it, and their family and whānau.

This programme of work is one of the key programmes of work that the Ministry of Health has committed to under the Disability Action Plan:

 Ministry of Health actions:

  • Repeal and replace the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 with legislation aligned to the UNCRPD
  • Improve access to quality healthcare and health outcomes for disabled people
  • Explore the framework that protects the bodily integrity of disabled children and disabled adults against non-therapeutic medical procedures
  • Funded Family Care policy change.

To ensure voices are heard, there are a number of targeted information sessions available  to find out more about the consultation, including for those involved in the wider Mental Health and Addiction sector, and a range of specific MāoriPacific and Lived Experience forums.

The Office for Disability Issues would like to encourage those in the disability sector to get involved in this consultation.  

Find out more about the consultation on the Ministry of Health website  or contact


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