In July 2017, Mr Paul Zentveld submitted a complaint to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (the UNCAT) claiming a violation of his rights under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention) relating to his experiences as a child in the Child and Adolescent Unit at the Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital.
The UNCAT issued a report on its decision [PDF, 451 KB] regarding the complaint in December 2019, which urged New Zealand to:
The New Zealand Government provided the UNCAT with a response to the report in April 2020 [PDF, 95 KB].
Further observations provided to the UNCAT in January 2021 noted that since February 2020 the New Zealand Police has been conducting an in-depth investigation into complaints about the Child and Adolescent Unit, which Mr Zentveld and his representatives have been updated on. The UNCAT decision has been made public on the New Zealand Police website(external link) via the Royal Commission, and through the media. As a result of the Police investigation a former Lake Alice staff member was charged. In June 2023 the trial Judge halted proceedings against the former staff member due to the latter having terminal cancer.
In March 2018, Mr Malcolm Richards submitted a complaint to the UNCAT claiming a violation of his rights under the Convention relating to his experiences as a child in the Child and Adolescent Unit at the Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital.
The UNCAT issued a report on its decision [PDF, 370 KB] regarding the complaint in June 2022, which urged New Zealand to:
The New Zealand Government provided the UNCAT with a response to the report in September 2022 [PDF, 232 KB].
As part of the Royal Commission’s investigation into abuse in psychiatric care it held a public hearing into the Lake Alice Hospital Child and Adolescent Unit on 14–29 June 2021(external link).
On Thursday 15 December 2022, the Royal Commission’s Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit case study report(external link) was presented to Parliament.
The report details many areas where State agencies failed patients at the Unit. It also discusses a series of investigations into what happened there - many Lake Alice survivors say these have delivered unsatisfactory results for them.
The Government’s statement on the Lake Alice report is here: Royal Commission Lake Alice report | Beehive.govt.nz(external link)