This petition is now closed
The NZ Mental Health Care Petition attracted 261 signatures. It was handed to Nick Smith, MP for Nelson, on April 1st, 2017.
You may follow the petition through its stages on the NZ Government's official web site, www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions/
The petition reads :
We, the signatories, respectfully request that the House recommend that the Government establish a Royal Commission
to report on harm to our schizophrenic population from changes inherent in the Mental Health
(Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 -
and on harm from the closure of residential, psychiatric hospitals in the 1990's.
It will become overwhelmingly clear that the
1992 Mental Health Act will need replacing.
Here in the document on the right, you can read
some suggestions for legislative changes
- together with some of my reasoning behind
Open Letter to Minister of Health
The Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction has published its report. The Commission worked hard to create a 219 page document - and it is not my job to criticise their work. I will concentrate on the only place where one of the recommendations from the Inquiry coincides with the aim inherent in my petition, namely repealing the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. This would be the only really drastic proposal from the Inquiry. But I find that the reasons given for this change are faulty and quite irrelevant.
Click on the document here on the right, where you can read my letter to Health Minister David Clark, concerning this aspect of the Inquiry report. Or click here.
Nick Smith receives the petition from Andy Espersen at his stall at the Saturday Morning Market in Nelson.
These three appendices accompanied my petition
My complaint to Ombudsman as suggested by parliamentary rules.
Click file above to read.
The Ombudsman declined to deal with my complaint. I was advised to take my concern to our local MP.
"How the 1992 Mental Health Act has failed us". Click file above to read.
The oral address I would have made to the Select Committee, had I opted to appear in person for the Committee.
MainSubmission to NZ
Mental Health Inquiry 2018
The new Labour government has now opened their Ministerial Inquiry into Mental Health which, as I reported earlier, is similar to my petition. It is their stated intention to investigate the current approach to mental health. Logically this cannot be done without some reference to the historical approach to mental health. With my lifelong work (since 1959) in the old mental institutions I am in a unique position to be able to draw the obvious comparisons - my comments here do just that. Read more click on the file above.
After the NZ parliamentary election in September a new standing health committee has been formed. I have been advised that my petition has been reinstated with this new committee. However, as our new government has decided to establish a ministerial inquiry into mental health, the similarities between this inquiry and my petition have caused the committee to wait for progress to be made on the ministerial inquiry before continuing to consider my petition. Read more - click here or on the file above.
Second submission to the
Mental Health Inquiry
The inquiry is now arranging public meetings in all regions throughout New Zealand. Submissions will close next month and the inquiry panel will then analyse them all and write its report to Government in October. Their Nelson session was on May 3rd. We were video-linked to a meeting in Blenheim – between us we were at least 200 people, far more than expected. I had prepared a 15 minutes speech - but there were so many wanting to have a say at the meeting that I simply couldn’t fit it in. I had printed off 60 copies which I handed out to people as they left. Click on the document above to read the speech which I did not get to speak.
Critique of N.Z. Press Council
The NZ Press Council did not uphold my complaint against STUFF NZ for unethical journalism. This involved an article about a schizophrenic man’s visit to an Auckland library (Askhay Chand, the insane murderer of Christie Marceau in 2011). Go to the Council’s website for details - here.
My last submission to the Mental Health Inquiry
My last submission to the Mental Health Inquiry. The panel is due to deliver its report to Government by October 31st, 2018.
My third submission to the Inquiry is unusual.
It does not address any particular mental health problems. Rather it questions the quality of the panel members.
To read this please click here -
or on the document above.