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Lake Alice Hospital
( Hokitika )
Opened: August 1950
Closed: October 1999
Status: Abandoned, 11 years
Located: Lake Alice, Manawatu-Wanganui
This was another solo N.Z explore.... the one I really wanted ( but due to the best bits being demolished, it was not as amazing as I'd hoped for ) And after getting confirmation from his distant neighbours about the land owners anger at people trespassing, I didn't fancy getting caught... I went real early....
The following information has been taken from the website dedicated to the location itself...
Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital Rangitikei New Zealand,
Opened In August 1950.
Named after the Lake which shares the same name, the second lake to the south of the estate. Built as a psychiatric hospital the complex which consists of 56 Acres with 10 two story 11 bed villas, fire station, 2 swimming pools, Maximum secure villa, staff quarters, library, community hall, chapel, morgue and 4 two storied 50 bed villas along with plenty garaging and workshop
s, administration building, glass houses/gardens, central dinning, rugby and cricket patch’s.
The hospital slowly shut down during the mid 1990's as apart of merging patients back into the community as institution's where seen as a negative look upon the mental health sector at that time although they had talked about shutting Lake Alice and many of the other institutions around New Zealand down for a few years priors.
Catering for all sort of mental illnesses and people from the young to criminally insane to geriatric. While the there is more history then will ever be known the most unbelievable accusations to surface was the Child and Adolescent unit abuse. During 1972-77 mistreatment went on towards the adolescent patients. Abuse claims consisted of unmodified ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). Where this would cause the person to pass out, one patient described the feeling as a sledge hammer hitting the side of his head. Mistreatment also went on with the ECT machine where patients would be instructed to shock fellow patients sometimes on there genitals and other body parts. ECT was not just used on the the Adolescent unit patients and it did not stop when the unit shut down in the late 70's.
Painful injections of paraldehyde where also a common practice. paraldehyde is a anti-epileptic. used to treat certain convulsive disorders It also has been used in the treatment of alcoholism and in the treatment of nervous and mental conditions to calm or relax patients who are nervous or tense and to produce sleep. However, paraldehyde has generally been replaced by safer and more effective medicines for the treatment of alcoholism and in the treatment of nervous and mental conditions. The main reason this drug was used was for sedation, the drug was very painful and could leave the patient unable to walk for hours. The medicine may either be given as an injection into the muscle or through the anus.
There has been many claims of sexual abuse through out the duration that the hospital was opened this was one of the accusations made during the duration the adolescent unit was open, many patients claimed they were sexually abused by other patients (some from other wards) and nurses.
After the closure in 1999 the hospital lay abandoned for 10 years and was on sold twice. Past patients sued the government in 2001 for abuse such as physical and sexual as well as Electric shock therapy that was unmodified. Over 150 patients received ex Gratia payments as at the time they were under the states care and the treatments used where found inhumane. The government paid out a sum of over $10 million to the claimants and the lawyer Grant Cameron and assist when the government struck a deal with the lawyer to settle out of court.
Lake Alice's history spans from the Whistle blowing incident that changed NZ work place policy's when in the 1980's a Staff member of the Maximum Security unit spoke out about the poor treatment and abuse that was going on towards patients in the unit. This staff members father was a doctor who also worked at Lake Alice and was an important figure during his employment.
The hospital doors where officially shut in October 1999. Now days the hospital stands abandoned most of the buildings are very run down & trashed from either outsiders or cattle,sheep which roam the land.
Further, sad tales from Lake Alice can be found using the links below.....
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