About the Mental Health Review Tribunal


The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 came into force in November 1992. At that time the Minister appointed two Review Tribunals, the Northern and the Southern.

On 1 July 2002 the two were combined to form a single Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT), and its functions, role, powers and procedures have remained mostly the same since the Act came into force.


The MHRT is made up of a lawyer, a psychiatrist and a community member, one of whom is the convenor of the tribunal. There are also about a dozen deputy members.

All are appointed by the Minister of Health for three year terms, although appointments can be renewed. All current members' and deputy members' appointments will expire on 18 September 2021.

Although the MHRT usually sits as a panel of three, a fourth member is occasionally added to the panel. This happens when they have specialised knowledge or expertise, or for reasons of ethnic identity or gender.

Current members

  • Mr James Wilding (lawyer), convenor
  • Ms Phyllis Tangitu (community member)
  • Dr Nick Judson (psychiatrist member)

Deputy lawyer members

  • Mr Nigel Dunlop
  • Mr Robb Newberry

There are currently two deputy lawyer vacancies on the MHRT. Applications for these positions close 3 March 2020. Please contact sarah.paterson@health.govt.nz for further information and an application form

Deputy psychiatrist members

  • Dr Ben Beaglehole
  • Dr James Cavney
  • Dr Christine Dudek-Hodge
  • Dr Hinemoa Elder
  • Dr Margaret Honeyman
  • Prof Graham Mellsop
  • Dr Sue Nightingale
  • Dr Peri Renison
  • Dr Sigurd Schmidt

Deputy community members

  • Ms Francis Ina Diver
  • Ms Albany Lucas
  • Ms Kathleen Rose

Relationship with the Ministry of Health

The Director of Mental Health, an official within the Ministry of Health, is responsible for the MHRT's general administration.

The MHRT may at any time, and if asked by the Director, report to them on any matter relating to the exercise or performance of its powers and functions under the Act.

The Ministry of Health is responsible for making sure MHRT members are paid, funds the MHRT's activities, and appoints its members. However, the MHRT retains strict independence from the Ministry and the Minister of Health when making decisions about patients.


The MHRT has a Wellington-based secretariat responsible for receiving applications, handling correspondence and enquiries, and making all necessary arrangements for hearings to take place.

A central secretariat is necessary because the members of the MHRT only undertake work for it on a part time basis and are based in various localities throughout New Zealand.

The secretariat requirements of the MHRT are provided by the law firm of Allen + Clark under contract with the Ministry of Health.

Contact us

Mail address: Mental Health Review Tribunal
PO Box 10407, The Terrace, Wellington 6143

Telephone: 0800 114 645

Fax: (04) 890 7301

Email: secretariat@mhrt.co.nz

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