Whakamutua Ngā Whakahau Haumanu Hapori Whakature Put an end to CCTOs


We are advocating for change from a coercive to a choice based mental health system. The changes we are calling for can be made now.

Repeal and replace the Mental Health Act

  • New legislation must be co-designed with people with lived experience of compulsory treatment, uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi, human rights and supported decision making.
  • The process to repeal and replace the Mental Health Act is underway but will take years to be agreed and implemented. We don’t have to wait for changes to be made now.

Make changes in practice now

  • Implement cultural and other practice changes in services and courts, such as supporting tikanga in court hearings
  • Ensure tāngata whaiora and whānau perspectives are heard, such as involving whānau, family and supporters are involved in planning with tāngata whaiora
  • Support tāngata whaiora to make decisions about their treatment, such as sharing clinical and other information in plain language, and taking more time to support people through decision making.

Invest in acute alternative options

  • Invest in culturally appropriate, community-based acute and crisis services to provide genuine choice for people and whānau, alongside inpatient care.

Why is this important?

People in Aotearoa experiencing significant mental distress continue to be subject to coercive practices despite evidence there is no therapeutic value. 

Practices, like compulsory community treatment orders or seclusion, are enabled by:

  • outdated mental health law (the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992), 
  • a lack of understanding about the expertise of people to manage their own distress, and 
  • a lack of safe, accessible community-based options for acute care and crisis support. 

Some people are more impacted than others, and this is unacceptable.

  • Māori and Pacific peoples are more likely to experience compulsory treatment, and solitary confinement.
  • In 2020/21, Māori were 1.8 times more likely than Pacific peoples and 4 times more likely than other ethnicities to be subject to Compulsory Community Treatment Orders.