Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Health

Version as at 1 July 2022

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992

Public Act
1992 No 46
Date of assent
15 June 1992
see section 1(2)

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Health.


1Short Title and commencement
2AAMeaning of mental health practitioner during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
2AMeaning of proposed patient
2BModification to section 2A during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
3Act to bind Crown
4General rules relating to liability to assessment or treatment
5Powers to be exercised with proper respect for cultural identity and personal beliefs
6Interpreters to be provided
6AUse of audiovisual links
7Obligation to assign patient to responsible clinician
7APractitioner or responsible clinician to consult
7BModification to section 7A during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
8Any person may fill out application form
8AApplication for assessment
8BCertificate to accompany application for assessment
8CModification to section 8B during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
9Assessment examination to be arranged and conducted
9AModifications to section 9 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
10Certificate of preliminary assessment
10AModification to section 10 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
11Further assessment and treatment for 5 days
11AModification to section 11 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
12Certificate of further assessment
13Further assessment and treatment for 14 days
14Certificate of final assessment
14ADocuments relating to application for compulsory treatment order
15Status of patient pending determination of application
16Review of patient’s condition by Judge
17Applications to be heard and determined wherever practicable by Family Court Judge
18Judge to examine patient where compulsory treatment order sought
19Attendance of patient and other persons
20Right of patient and other persons to be heard and call evidence
21Court may call for report on patient
23Power of court to call witnesses
24Proceedings not open to public
25Publication of reports of proceedings
26Court may dispense with hearing in certain circumstances
27Court to consider patient’s condition
28Compulsory treatment orders
29Community treatment orders
30Inpatient orders
31Leave for inpatients
32Absence without leave
33Compulsory treatment order to expire after 6 months
34Court may extend order
35Release from compulsory status
36Compulsory treatment order to cease to have effect in certain cases
37Advice and assistance of general nature
38Assistance when person may need assessment
38AModifications to section 38 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
39Assistance in respect of outpatients and inpatients on leave
40Assistance in taking or returning proposed patient or patient to place of assessment or treatment
41Police assistance
41AModification to section 41 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
42Notice of admission
42AModification to section 42 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
43Notice of events concerning patient
43ACollection of biometric information
44Treatment of special patients generally
45Application for assessment may be made in respect of persons detained in prisons
45AModification to section 45 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
46Detained persons in need of care and treatment
47Removal of certain special patients to prisons
47ARemoval of certain intellectually disabled patients to facilities
48Relationship between detention in hospital and sentence
49Transfer of special patients
50Leave of special patients
51Power to direct temporary return to hospital of special patients
52Director may grant short-term leave
52ASpecial patients not to leave hospital or depart from New Zealand without permission
53Escape and absence without leave
53ATransport of special patients
54Patients presenting special difficulties may be drawn to Director’s attention
55Court may make order declaring patient to be restricted patient
56Effect of application and order in respect of leave
57No compulsory treatment except as provided in this Part or in section 110A
58Treatment while undergoing assessment
59Treatment while subject to compulsory treatment order
60Special provision relating to electro-convulsive treatment
61Special provision relating to brain surgery
62Urgent treatment
63Withdrawal of consent
63ARights of proposed patients
64General rights to information
65Respect for cultural identity, etc
66Right to treatment
67Right to be informed about treatment
68Further rights in case of visual or audio recording
69Right to independent psychiatric advice
70Right to legal advice
71Right to company, and seclusion
72Right to receive visitors and make telephone calls
73Right to receive letters and postal articles
74Right to send letters and postal articles
75Complaint of breach of rights
76Clinical reviews of persons subject to compulsory treatment orders
77Clinical reviews of certain special patients
78Clinical reviews of restricted patients
79Tribunal reviews of persons subject to compulsory treatment orders
80Tribunal reviews of certain special patients
81Tribunal reviews of restricted patients
82Procedural provisions
83Appeal against Review Tribunal’s decision in certain cases
84Judicial inquiry
86Assessment examination
87Age of consent
88Brain surgery
89Membership of Review Tribunal
90Review of patient about to attain age of 17 years
91Director and Deputy Director of Mental Health
92Directors of Area Mental Health Services
92ADelegation by Directors of Area Mental Health Services
92BProvisions applying to delegations under section 92A
93Duly authorised officers
94District inspectors and official visitors
94APowers of district inspectors and official visitors
95Inquiries by district inspector
96Visitations by district inspectors and official visitors
96AModification to section 96 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
97Extent of inspection
97AVisitations by remote technology permitted while epidemic notice in force for COVID-19
98Reports on visits
98ADistrict inspectors to report monthly
99Powers of inspection of Director
99ANo proceedings against district inspectors or official visitors unless bad faith shown
99BDelegation by persons in charge of hospitals
99CCrimes of Torture Act 1989 not limited
100Psychiatric security institutions
101Review Tribunals
102Functions and powers of Review Tribunals
103Co-opting suitable persons
104Meetings and powers
105Deputies of members
106Terms of office
108Fees and travelling allowances
108ANo proceedings against members of Review Tribunals unless bad faith shown
109Police powers in relation to person appearing to be mentally disordered in public place
109AModification to section 109 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
110Powers of mental health practitioner when urgent examination required
110AAModifications to section 110 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
110APower of medical practitioner who issues certificate to sedate when sedation urgently required
110BPowers of mental health practitioner when urgent assessment required
110BAModifications to section 110B during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
110CPowers of Police when urgent assistance required
110DModifications to section 110C during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
111Powers of nurse where urgent assessment required
111AModification to section 111 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
112Judge may authorise apprehension of patients and proposed patients [Repealed]
113Authority of person in charge of hospital or service to admit and detain
113AJudge or Registrar may issue warrants
114Neglect or ill-treatment of proposed patients and patients
115Assisting patient on community treatment order not to attend for treatment
115AAssisting patient on inpatient order to be absent without leave
116Unlawful publication of reports of proceedings before Review Tribunal
117Obstruction of inspection
118False or misleading certificates
119Further offences involving false or misleading documents, etc
120Who may commence proceedings
121General penalty
122Matters of justification or excuse
122ACertain sections of Crimes Act 1961 apply to powers to take and retake
122BUse of force
123Vetting of incoming mail
124Vetting of outgoing mail
125Procedure where letter withheld
126Patient’s pocket money [Repealed]
127Transfer of patients
127AModification to section 127 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
128Removal from New Zealand
129Registers and records
130Director-General may promulgate standards
131Notices to Director-General
132Notice of death
133Giving or sending documents
134Fees of mental health practitioners
134AModification to section 134 during COVID-19 response [Repealed]
136Application of other Acts
137Repeals and consequential amendments
137ATemporary COVID-19 response provisions repealed [Repealed]
138Savings [Repealed]
139Criminal Justice Act 1985 amended
140Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971 amended
141Persons detained under section 19 of Mental Health Act 1969
142Proceedings for reception order commenced but not completed
143Reception orders
144Committed patients on leave
145Special patients
146Persons detained as committed patients pursuant to Criminal Justice Act 1985

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