Lake Alice Hospital
Lake Alice Hospital was a rural psychiatric facility near Bulls in Rangitikei, New Zealand. It was opened in August 1950, and had a Maximum Security unit. Like many New Zealand psychiatric hospitals, Lake Alice was self-sufficient, with its own farm, workshop, bakery, laundry, and fire station. It also had swimming pools as well as glasshouses and vegetable gardens. The facility slowly shut down during the mid 90's, finally shutting its doors in October 1999. The buildings and 56- hectare grounds were purchased in July, 2006 by Auckland accountant & property developer's group Lake Hicks Ltd. Plans to develop the former psychiatric hospital have been scrapped after the owners fell into financial difficulties. The property was sold for a second time in December 2008. The new owners of the property intend to demolish most of the buildings including the infamous Maximum secure unit, A few buildings such as the Admin block will remain and the land will be used for farming. . Former patients of the hospital's child and adolescent unit have made allegations of abuse there during the 1970s, including the use of electroconvulsive therapy and paraldehyde injections as punishment. The New Zealand government issued a written apology in 2001, and has paid out a total of NZ$10.7 million in compensation to 183 former patients. The former head of the unit gave up the practice of medicine in 2006 in order to forestall a disciplinary hearing by the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria.