Investigation of Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital Uncovers 100 Additional Patients

March 19, 2021

The closed Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital is being investigated in the Royal Commission's Abuse in Care Inquiry.

Investigations into a notorious Manawatu psychiatric hospital have uncovered at least 100 more patients were admitted than previously recorded.

The Royal Commission's Abuse in Care Inquiry is investigating what happened at the Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit, which operated from 1972 until 1978.

Former patients described horrific conditions, mistreatment and abuse during their time in the facility, including use of electroconvulsive therapy and seclusion rooms as punishment.

Investigation counsel assist lead Andrew Molloy said a raft of “new and valuable information” had been obtained through interviews with former patients, psychiatrists, psychologists, teachers and social workers, many of whom had never been interviewed before.

The inquiry found at least 300 patients were admitted to the youth unit, 50 per cent more than previously believed, Molloy said.

The Ministry of Health responded to survivors’ evidence given at the Redress hearing in late 2020, telling commissioners it had not been able to compile a list of all children who went through the Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit.

The investigation team continues to seek former patients and their families, as well as former staff members and their families, to discuss their experiences ahead of the public hearing on June 14.

Molloy urged Lake Alice patients, family, former staff members or anyone with information to share, to contact investigators by calling 0800 222 727 or visiting the abuse in care website

Source: Sam Baker, “Abuse inquiry uncovers at least 100 more Lake Alice patients,”, Mar. 2, 2021, URL:   


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