Lake Alice staff need to be accountable

Victor Boyd is still battling after 30 years to get justice for former child patients at the Lake Alice psychiatric hospital.

The Shore resident started helping former patients after touring the hospital and protesting about conditions in the 1970s.

Mr Boyd was living in Wanganui and knew people who had been patients.

"I saw a huge injustice because they were children they were not being listened to, despite complaining about it," he says.

"The aftermath is trying to get justice and accountability," he says.

During his research he interviewed 50 former patients and staff and took statements from about 30 people, including two former staff members at the hospital that closed in the late 1970s.

In 2001 the government began apologising and paying compensation to former patients.

But Mr Boyd says one of the key unresolved issues is that former staff haven't been told what they did was wrong.

He says this is important for all New Zealanders, not just the victims.

"Such horrific things happened at Lake Alice, there should be accountability."

Many people have been traumatised for life by their experiences in the child and adolescent unit at the hospital, he says.

Mr Boyd has self funded his research and sent reports to the United Nations during its investigations. He is now writing a history of the issues at Lake Alice.

North Shore Times