Consultation on transforming mental health legislation in New Zealand

on 26 October


Get involved in transforming mental health legislation in Aotearoa New Zealand

Kia ora koutou

One of the recommendations in He Ara Oranga was to repeal and replace the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act, and I’m pleased to say that today we have opened consultation to gather information and feedback that will inform the design of the new legislation.

Read more about this consultation on the Ministry of Health website

The Mental Health Act became law in 1992. It has not kept pace with new approaches to care, and statistics show that Māori, Pacific peoples, and disabled people experience a range of inequities under the Act.

We have heard why change is needed, and the next step is to get clear direction for what mental health legislation in New Zealand should look like. We have an opportunity to create new mental health legislation that protects human rights, recognises Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and improves equity.

Although the current Mental Health Act is only used for a small proportion of people each year, it has a big impact on the lives of those who do experience it, and their family and whānau. In particular, we want to hear from people and communities who have been impacted by the legislation.

We are transforming Aotearoa New Zealand’s approach to mental health and addiction, so that people can get the support they need, when and where they need it. Ensuring we have fit for purpose legislation is one part of this transformation, and I encourage you to get involved, and to share this consultation through your networks.

Ngā mihi,
Philip Grady

Acting Deputy Director-General
Mental Health and Addiction | Manatū Hauora / Ministry of Health


Consultation is open until 28 January 2022

Because it is so important to hear what New Zealanders want from mental health legislation, this consultation will be open for three months, allowing plenty of time for you to review the information and respond with your thoughts and feedback. 

We will also be adding more information to the Mental Health and Addiction website regularly, to support and explain the consultation and information in the discussion document.

There will be a range of ways to provide feedback, some of which are shared below, but more information will be on the website and in our newsletters over the next three months. We want to make sure no-one misses out on having their voice heard.

If you have any questions, I encourage you to get in touch with the team.


Online meetings and hui

To support and explain the consultation and give an overview of the information in the discussion document, we will be holding a series of online hui and meetings. 

These will provide an overview of the consultation and an opportunity to ask questions – they are not intended to be a formal consultation meeting.

More dates will be added, including consultation hui and targeted meetings for key population groups and communities of interest. Keep an eye on the Mental Health and Addiction website for details.


How to make a submission

You are invited to give feedback on the whole discussion document or just the parts you are most interested in or impacted by. You might have other views and concerns that we have not captured, and we encourage you to tell us about these.

Consultation is open until 28 January 2022 and you can get help to prepare and submit your submission.

You can provide feedback by:

  • making an online submission
  • answering the questions in the consultation document and emailing your responses to
  • answering the questions in the consultation document and sending a hard copy to: Consultation: Transforming mental health law in Aotearoa New Zealand, Ministry of Health, PO Box 5013, Wellington 6140

Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora

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