Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992

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Reprint as at 1 July 2009

Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992

Public Act1992 No 46
Date of assent15 June 1992
Commencementsee section 1(2)


Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Health.



1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

2A Meaning of proposed patient

3 Act to bind Crown

4 General rules relating to liability to assessment or treatment

5 Powers to be exercised with proper respect for cultural identity and personal beliefs

6 Interpreters to be provided

7 Obligation to assign patient to responsible clinician

7A Medical practitioner or responsible clinician to consult

Part 1
Compulsory assessment and treatment

8 Any person may fill out application form

8A Application for assessment

8B Medical practitioner's certificate to accompany application for assessment

9 Assessment examination to be arranged and conducted

10 Certificate of preliminary assessment

11 Further assessment and treatment for 5 days

12 Certificate of further assessment

13 Further assessment and treatment for 14 days

14 Certificate of final assessment

14A Documents relating to application for compulsory treatment order

15 Status of patient pending determination of application

16 Review of patient's condition by Judge

Part 2
Compulsory treatment orders

17 Applications to be heard and determined wherever practicable by Family Court Judge

18 Judge to examine patient where compulsory treatment order sought

19 Attendance of patient and other persons

20 Right of patient and other persons to be heard and call evidence

21 Court may call for report on patient

22 Evidence

23 Power of court to call witnesses

24 Proceedings not open to public

25 Publication of reports of proceedings

26 Court may dispense with hearing in certain circumstances

27 Court to consider patient's condition

28 Compulsory treatment orders

29 Community treatment orders

30 Inpatient orders

31 Leave for inpatients

32 Absence without leave

33 Compulsory treatment order to expire after 6 months

34 Court may extend order

35 Release from compulsory status

36 Compulsory treatment order to cease to have effect in certain cases

Part 3
Advice and assistance

37 Advice and assistance of general nature

38 Assistance when person may need assessment

39 Assistance in respect of outpatients and inpatients on leave

40 Assistance in taking or returning proposed patient or patient to place of assessment or treatment

41 Police assistance

Part 4
Special patients and restricted patients

Notice of admission, discharge, and transfer of special patients and restricted patients

42 Notice of admission

43 Notice of events concerning patient

Special patients

44 Treatment of special patients generally

45 Application for assessment may be made in respect of persons detained in prisons

46 Detained persons in need of care and treatment

47 Removal of certain special patients to prisons

47A Removal of certain intellectually disabled patients to facilities

48 Relationship between detention in hospital and sentence

49 Transfer of special patients

50 Leave of special patients

51 Power to direct temporary return to hospital of special patients

52 Director may grant short-term leave

53 Escape and absence without leave

Restricted patients

54 Patients presenting special difficulties may be drawn to Director's attention

55 Court may make order declaring patient to be restricted patient

56 Effect of application and order in respect of leave

Part 5
Compulsory treatment

57 No compulsory treatment except as provided in this Part or in section 110A

58 Treatment while undergoing assessment

59 Treatment while subject to compulsory treatment order

60 Special provision relating to electro-convulsive treatment

61 Special provision relating to brain surgery

62 Urgent treatment

63 Withdrawal of consent

Part 6
Rights of patients

63A Rights of proposed patients

64 General rights to information

65 Respect for cultural identity, etc

66 Right to treatment

67 Right to be informed about treatment

68 Further rights in case of visual or audio recording

69 Right to independent psychiatric advice

70 Right to legal advice

71 Right to company, and seclusion

72 Right to receive visitors and make telephone calls

73 Right to receive letters and postal articles

74 Right to send letters and postal articles

75 Complaint of breach of rights

Part 7
Reviews and judicial inquiries

76 Clinical reviews of persons subject to compulsory treatment orders

77 Clinical reviews of certain special patients

78 Clinical reviews of restricted patients

79 Tribunal reviews of persons subject to compulsory treatment orders

80 Tribunal reviews of certain special patients

81 Tribunal reviews of restricted patients

82 Procedural provisions

83 Appeal against Review Tribunal's decision in certain cases

84 Judicial inquiry

Part 8
Special provisions relating to children and young persons

85 Application

86 Assessment examination

87 Age of consent

88 Brain surgery

89 Membership of Review Tribunal

90 Review of patient about to attain age of 17 years

Part 9


91 Director and Deputy Director of Mental Health

92 Directors of Area Mental Health Services

92A Delegation by Directors of Area Mental Health Services

92B Provisions applying to delegations under section 92A

93 Duly authorised officers

94 District inspectors and official visitors

94A Powers of district inspectors and official visitors

95 Inquiries by district inspector

96 Visitations by district inspectors and official visitors

97 Extent of inspection

98 Reports on visits

98A District inspectors to report monthly

99 Powers of inspection of Director

99A No proceedings against district inspectors or official visitors unless bad faith shown

99B Delegation by persons in charge of hospitals

99C Crimes of Torture Act 1989 not limited

Psychiatric security institutions

100 Psychiatric security institutions

Review Tribunals

101 Review Tribunals

102 Functions and powers of Review Tribunals

103 Co-opting suitable persons

104 Meetings and powers

Further provisions relating to Review Tribunals

105 Deputies of members

106 Terms of office

107 Convener

108 Fees and travelling allowances

108A No proceedings against members of Review Tribunals unless bad faith shown

Part 10
Enforcement and offences

109 Police powers in relation to person appearing to be mentally disordered in public place

110 Powers of medical practitioner when urgent examination required

110A Power of medical practitioner who issues certificate to sedate when sedation urgently required

110B Powers of medical practitioner when urgent assessment required

110C Powers of Police when urgent assistance required

111 Powers of nurse where urgent assessment required

112 Judge may authorise apprehension of patients and proposed patients [Repealed]

113 Authority of person in charge of hospital or service to admit and detain

113A Judge or Registrar may issue warrants

114 Neglect or ill-treatment of proposed patients and patients

115 Assisting patient on community treatment order not to attend for treatment

115A Assisting patient on inpatient order to be absent without leave

116 Unlawful publication of reports of proceedings before Review Tribunal

117 Obstruction of inspection

118 False or misleading certificates

119 Further offences involving false or misleading documents, etc

120 Offences punishable on summary conviction

121 General penalty

122 Matters of justification or excuse

122A Certain sections of Crimes Act 1961 apply to powers to take and retake

122B Use of force

Part 11
Miscellaneous provisions

123 Vetting of incoming mail

124 Vetting of outgoing mail

125 Procedure where letter withheld

126 Patient's pocket money [Repealed]

127 Transfer of patients

128 Removal from New Zealand

129 Registers and records

130 Director-General may promulgate standards

131 Notices to Director-General

132 Notice of death

133 Giving or sending documents

133A Forms

134 Fees of medical practitioners

135 Regulations

136 Application of other Acts

137 Repeals and consequential amendments

138 Savings [Repealed]

139 Criminal Justice Act 1985 amended

140 Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971 amended

Part 12
Transitional provisions

141 Persons detained under section 19 of Mental Health Act 1969

142 Proceedings for reception order commenced but not completed

143 Reception orders

144 Committed patients on leave

145 Special patients

146 Persons detained as committed patients pursuant to Criminal Justice Act 1985

Schedule 1
Procedural provisions relating to Review Tribunals

Schedule 2
Enactments repealed

Schedule 3
Enactments amended

Schedule 4
Amendments to Criminal Justice Act 1985


Schedule 5
Amendments to Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971

Reprint notes

An Act to redefine the circumstances in which and the conditions under which persons may be subjected to compulsory psychiatric assessment and treatment, to define the rights of such persons and to provide better protection for those rights, and generally to reform and consolidate the law relating to the assessment and treatment of persons suffering from mental disorder