New Zealand Law Society - District Inspectors of Mental Health

District Inspectors of Mental Health

All interested barristers and solicitors are invited to apply for appointment as District Inspectors.

District Inspectors are statutory officers appointed for three-year terms to uphold the rights of patients under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 and to ensure that the provisions of this Act are adhered to correctly.

District Inspectors may also be appointed to perform duties under the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003 and/or the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017.

District Inspectors are required to work as part of wider regional teams and as a national caucus.

On behalf of the Minister of Health, who appoints all District Inspectors, Manatū Hauora seeks applications from suitably qualified barristers and solicitors.

We welcome applications from those whose District Inspector and Deputy District Inspector appointments are due to expire, and those who are keen to take up new challenges in the mental health, intellectual disability and/or substance addiction field. We are further looking to appoint a Senior Advisory District Inspector. The purpose of this role is to provide leadership and advice to other District Inspectors.

Appointments will commence 1 July 2023.

The appointment process is expected to take approximately four months and is run by Manatū Hauora.

You must be a barrister or solicitor with a current practising certificate and have an interest in the mental health area.

It is expected that shortlisting will be completed by 21 February 2023, and those shortlisted will be contacted shortly after that date.

Only shortlisted applicants will be interviewed, but all applicants will be advised as to whether they have been shortlisted. All applications will be presented to the Minister for his consideration.

Interviews are expected to be scheduled during March 2023.

Please note:

• Time commitment should not be more than 30 per cent of practice, for a term of three years.

• First-term District Inspectors are usually reappointed for a further three-year term without interview.

• After two terms, each District Inspector position is subject to a publicly advertised appointment process.

You must address the key appointment criteria in your application. All applications should include a curriculum vitae and must address the applicant’s suitability to be appointed, based on these key criteria:

• Legal knowledge and experience

• Mental health knowledge, including knowledge of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992

• Communication skills

• Sensitivity to the experience of people suffering mental distress

• Personal attributes such as judgement and common sense

• Cultural awareness, sensitivity, and knowledge

• Regional and collegial engagement

• For consideration of additional appointment under Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003: knowledge and/or experience of intellectual disability

• For consideration of additional appointment under Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017: knowledge and/or experience of substance addiction

• For consideration of appointment of Senior Advisory District Inspector: considerable knowledge of mental health legislation, national standards of practice and previous experience as a District Inspector.


• Applicants must supply two written references that address the key appointment criteria. These two referees should be available to provide verbal references.

• Applicants must supply a copy of their practicing certificate.

• Applicants will be shortlisted on the basis of their applications, including written references and curricula vitae.

• Applicants will be required to respond about any criminal convictions.

• Applicants will be required to identify any conflicts of interest that might arise if appointed as a District Inspector. For extra information on conflict-of-interest considerations, please refer to the Public Services Commission’s Board Appointment and Induction Guidelines, which is available at

• Applicants’ information will be provided to the Minister to assist in his decision-making.

Applications should be sent to: 

Laura Johnstone, Assistant Advisor

Office of the Director of Mental Health, Manatū Hauora

PO Box 5013, Wellington 6145

or emailed to

If you have any queries, please contact Laura Johnstone via email or Stephen Enright on 04 496 2080 or via email at Manatū Hauora.

Applications must be received by 5pm, Tuesday, 7 February 2023.

Further information on the role of District Inspectors can be obtained from the Manatū Hauora website

Please refer to the online publication of the Guidelines for District Inspectors Appointed under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 (2012), and other online guidelines to the Acts.

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