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Reviews and appeals


At different stages of the compulsory assessment and treatment process, you have the right to review or appeal decisions made about you:

  • while you are being assessed, you can ask a judge to review the decision that you have a mental disorder
  • if, when your compulsory treatment order is reviewed, your responsible clinician decides that you are not fit to be released from compulsory status, you can apply to the Review Tribunal for a review of this decision
  • if you are in hospital under an inpatient order, you or another person can apply to the High Court for a judicial inquiry, which looks at whether your detention is legal (see: “‘Judicial inquiry’: Going to the High Court”)
  • if you are in hospital under an inpatient order, you also have a separate right to apply to a High Court judge for what’s called a “writ of habeas corpus” – this is a long-established type of legal action you can use if you believe the police or other officials are holding you illegally.

Some of these review and appeal options are set out in further detail in this section.

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Mental health

Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres

Te Hiringa Mahara/Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

The objective of Te Hiringa Mahara is to contribute to better and equitable mental health and wellbeing outcomes for people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Website: www.mhwc.govt.nz

Health and Disability Commissioner

The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) website sets out your rights under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights and how you can make a complaint to the Commissioner.

Website: www.hdc.org.nz
Email: hdc@hdc.org.nz
Phone: 0800 11 22 33

To make a complaint online: www.hdc.org.nz/making-a-complaint/make-a-complaint-to-hdc

Mental Health Support

Publicly funded health and disability support services available in New Zealand:

Mental health district inspectors

District Inspectors are lawyers appointed by the Minister of Health to protect the rights of people receiving treatment under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, or the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003.

Website: www.health.govt.nz/our-work/mental-health-and-addiction/mental-health-legislation/mental-health-compulsory-assessment-and-treatment-act-1992/mental-health-district-inspectors

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