30 May 2024

Lodge for mental health clients stunned over lack of oversight

From Nine To Noon, 9:25 am on 30 May 2024
Eclipse Retreat on Dominion Road.

Eclipse Retreat on Dominion Road. Photo: Joanne Chaplow

A property investor who took on a boarding house for people with mental health needs in Auckland has been left stunned by a lack of oversight from government agencies.

Joanne Chaplow bought Eclipse Retreat on Dominion Road a few months ago, which houses 15 men with mental health needs. But no one from the Ministry for Social Development has checked in with her, despite paying her more than $500 per resident each week in board - topping $30,000 per month.

The Ministry says it has no contract with Ms Chaplow as an assisted or supported living provider - but if someone receives a benefit from them, they can redirect it towards board.

In addition to room and board, Ms Chaplow says she pays for residents' doctors visits and also dispenses medication. She has also had no contact from Health New Zealand.

Joanne Chaplow says she can't believe she's not been contacted by anyone in officialdom, and fears other property owners might be taking advantage of the vulnerability of the people they house.

Kathryn also speaks with John Moore, CEO of Yellow Brick Road, a charity which supports the families of mental health patients. He says some are so concerned about the conditions of some community houses, they're choosing to look after their adult children at home, well into their later years.