The Centre for Mental Health Research

Latest projects

The Role of District Inspectors

District Inspectors are appointed by the Minister of Health to ensure that the rights of people detained for compulsory psychiatric treatment are respected and upheld. The report for this project, funded by New Zealand Law Foundation, draws on historical analysis and interviews with current District Inspectors to look at how the role has developed since its inception in 1868 through to its current form under New Zealand’s Mental Health Act. The report indicates the role sits well with New Zealand’s efforts to implement the United Nation Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disability and meet the obligations of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. The report also raises some issues worthy of further consideration. These include looking at how District Inspectors can be better supported in their role; formalising induction training and professional development; and promoting awareness and clarity about of the role among patients, their families, community groups and clinical staff.


Balancing Individual Rights with Public Safety: An Exploration into the Decision-making of the Mental Health Review Tribunal

The Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) aims to provide safeguards for service users by ensuring their right to be free from unjustified detention or treatment. It is an independent body that reviews compulsory treatment orders. A project funded by The University of Auckland Faculty Research Development Fund set out to explore the decision making processes of the MHRT. The latest report released by the Centre for Mental Health Research which details the key findings.