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Commission Hopes Inquest Provides Answers

Media Release
23 October 2008

Commission Hopes Inquest Provides Answers

The Mental Health Commission sends its sympathies to the family of Shane Fisher following an inquest into the Auckland man’s death.

Mr Fisher died two years ago while a patient at Auckland Hospital’s psychiatric acute unit.

Chair Commissioner Dr Peter McGeorge says the death of any patient is tragic.

“This has been a terrible time for Shane Fisher’s family and friends, and I hope the inquest has provided some of the answers they’re seeking.”

He says the Commission will study the results of the inquest to identify broader issues of performance that the mental health and addiction sector needs to reflect on and address. It will then seek to advocate on behalf of consumers and families for ways in which these issues and gaps in service might be addressed.

“Hundreds of people receive the treatment and care they need every day without incident,” he says.

“However the Commission is very concerned when anything goes wrong while people are using mental health services and is committed to finding ways of improving services and mental health for all New Zealanders.”


For more information contact:
Cushla Managh
Communications Manager
Mental Health Commission
04 474 8919 or 021 736 456

Or visit our website at

Background about the Mental Health Commission:
The Mental Health Commission was established in 1998 as a crown entity providing independent advice to the Government following the Mason Inquiry into Mental Health Services.

The Commission’s functions as defined by the Mental Health Commission Amendment Act 2007 are to:
• advocate for the interests of people with mental illness and their families generally (rather than for individuals or groups), while taking into account the interests of other stakeholders;
• promote and facilitate collaboration and communication about mental health issues;
• work independently and with others to promote better understanding of mental illness by the community, reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with mental illness, and to eliminate inappropriate discrimination on the grounds of mental illness;
• monitor, and to report to and advise the Minister on the implementation of the national mental health strategy;
• stimulate and support the development of integrated and effective methods or systems of providing care;
• stimulate and to do research into any matter relevant to mental illness.


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