Story: Mental health services

Protesting against mental hospital closures

Protesting against mental hospital closures

Despite the anxieties and complaints about conditions for patients in mental hospitals, many people were concerned at the prospect of closing the hospitals and requiring their patients to live in the community. In this 1989 photo, Michael Bruce, a representative of a group supporting Porirua Hospital patients and their families, holds a petition opposing the closure of the hospital. About 2,000 people signed the petition within a few days of the announcement that the hospital would close. In 2021 a much smaller psychiatric facility remained open at Porirua, with about 100 patients.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1989/3227
Photograph by Jon Hargest

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Warwick Brunton, 'Mental health services - Closing the hospitals, 1960s to 1990s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 May 2022)

Story by Warwick Brunton, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 5 May 2022