Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Compulsory Care Legislation Introduced


Rt Hon Wyatt Creech
Minister of Health
5 October 1999


The Government is changing the law so people with intellectual disabilities, who pose a serious risk to themselves or others in the community, can receive appropriate care and support and be placed in secure care if needed.

The placements would be made via court order.

"There's a gap in the current law and service provision which means the small group concerned does not get the proper response," Health Minister Wyatt Creech said. "Some have for example been placed in prison, restrictive detention as a "special patient" in mental health services or discharged into the community.

"Once the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care) Bill introduced today is passed it will give clearer guidance about how to deal with those concerned.

"Funding for the services needed to give full effect to this policy has been approved by Cabinet.

"It will enable the authorisation of assessment and compulsory care of a person with an intellectual disability, whose behaviour poses a serious danger to the health and/or safety of themselves or others, or a person with an intellectual disability, who has been charged with an imprisonable offence.

"The Bill will only affect a few people.

"It will mean that adequate services are provided to offenders with intellectual disability in the correct environment, rather than them being put in prison without treatment or assistance.

"People under compulsory care will have care packages designed to meet their specific needs. The rights of people with an intellectual disability who come under the Bill, will be safeguarded while providing compulsory placement.

"The compulsory care mechanism will only be used as a last resort, and only when alternative support or care arrangements are insufficient for adequate care to be provided.

"The Bill complements criminal justice legislation. It will allow the courts to make appropriate orders for people with disabilities coming through the criminal justice system."

The process for developing the bill has been complex, and has involved the commissioning of reports, stocktake of the affected population and government decisions on the policy framework.

The Bill was initiated both to clarify the legal powers for caregivers, and due to the discharge of people with intellectual disabilities from psychiatric hospitals following the exclusion of intellectual disability in the 1992 Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Act.

The Act meant there was no specific legislation covering the compulsory care of people with intellectual disabilities who commit serious offences, or cause significant concern to the people caring for them that they may harm themselves or others.

In late 1996 the Ministry estimated there were about 200 people who would be covered by the proposed legislation. Fifty of these were likely to have been charged with an imprisonable offence.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news