Professor Kate Diesfeld
Professor, Health Law
Phone: 09 921 9999 Ext 7837
North Shore Campus
90 Akoranga Drive
Northcote, Auckland 0627
Discipline of Public Health, Mailcode A-12
Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences
North Shore Campus
Private Bag 92006
Memberships and Affiliations:
State Bar of California
Australia New Zealand Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
Auckland Medico-Legal Society
Auckland District Law Society (Mental Health and Disability Sub-Committee) Clinical Ethics Advisory Committee, Waikato District Health Board
Journal of Legal Medicine, Editorial Board
Professor Kate Diesfeld was employed as a staff attorney for Protection and Advocacy, Inc in Los Angeles representing people with developmental disabilities. She was the Legal Supervisor of Kent Law Clinic (Mental Health and Learning Disabilities) at the University of Kent at Canterbury in England. Also, she represented people before the Mental Health Review Tribunal in England. She was Director of the National Centre for Health Law and Ethics at AUT University. At Te Piringa Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato, she was Co-editor of the Waikato Law Review, Associate Dean (Research) and taught Health Law, Torts, Dispute Resolution and Legal Ethics. Currently Adjunct Associate Professor at Te Piringa, and the Chair of AUT's Ethics Committee, Kate convenes the health law courses at AUT and supervises doctoral research on disability and health law.
Disability law, health law, elder law, mental health law, professional regulation
Kate’s research focuses on using the law preventively with, and on behalf, of disabled people and patients.
Current Research Projects:
Mirfin-Veitch, B., Henderson, E., Hanna, K, Diesfeld, K. (in process) Benchmark: Best practice-best evidence. Wellington: Law Foundation and IHC. ($218,000 and $80,000 respectively).
Mirfin-Veitch, B., Henaghan, M., Diesfeld, K., Gates, S. (2014) Developing a more responsive legal system for people with intellectual disability in New Zealand. Wellington: New Zealand Law Foundation ($307,804).
Thom, K., Diesfeld, K., Prebble, K. (2011) Safeguarding the rights of people detained for compulsory psychiatric treatment: The role of the district inspector. Wellington, The Law Foundation.
Mirfin-Veitch, B., Diesfeld, K., Henaghan, M., Gates, S. (2011) People with Intellectual Disabilities in the New Zealand Legal System: Consultation Project. Wellington: The Law Foundation. $11,730.
Thom, K., Diesfeld, K., Prebble, K. (2011) Safeguarding the rights of people detained for compulsory psychiatric treatment: The role of the district inspector. Wellington: New Zealand Law Foundation. $58,000.
Thom, K., Prebble, K., Black, S., Diesfeld, K.(2011) Safeguarding the rights of people detained for compulsory psychiatric treatment: The role of the District Inspector. New Zealand Law Foundation and Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Auckland. $58,000
Prebble, K., McKenna, B., Diesfeld, K., Honey, M., Sutton, D. (2011)Legislating for care: An exploration of the role of care mangers under the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003. Strategy to Advance Research Grant. $65,300
McPherson, K., Kayes, N., Moloczij, N.,Diesfeld, K., Water, T.,Cummins, C. (2009) A Review of the Interface Between Formal and Informal Caring in New Zealand. National Health Committee. $20, 116
McPherson, K., Diesfeld, K., Schluter, P., Travaglia, S., Ryan, B., Desouza, R., Boocock, M., Harwood, M., LaGrow, S., Callaghan, K., Gorman, D., Tuiqereqere, D.(2007) Evaluation of vocational rehabilitation under the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001. An evaluation commissioned by the Accident Compensation Corporation New Zealand. $401,532
Diesfeld, K., Patston, P., McLean, M., Miller-Burgering, W., Vickery, R., Phelan, T. (2006) Report to the Legal Services Agency. Literature review of the unmet legal needs of people with disabilities in the Auckland region (Report 1) (pp. 32).
Diesfeld, K., Patston, P., McLean, M., Miller-Burgering, W., Vickery, R. (2006) Proposed service delivery model: Meeting the legal needs of people with disabilities in the Auckland region. (Report 2)(pp. 46). Legal Services Agency Service Delivery Proposal (Report 3)(pp16). (Reports confidential to the Legal Services Agency). $28,900.
Diesfeld, K. and McKenna, B. (2006) Insight and other puzzles: The New Zealand Mental Health Review Tribunal-summary version. Wellington: Mental Health Commission. Online at: http:www.mhc.govt.nz/publications/2006/20061 207diesfeld.summary.pdf. Pro bono
McPherson, K., Kayes, N., Diesfeld, K., Patston, P., Billington, R.,Taylor, W.J. (2006) Quality of life and quality of care for people who experience disability. AUT University. $18,000
Diesfeld, K. and McKenna, B. (2005)Insight and other puzzles: The New Zealand Mental Health Review Tribunal. Wellington: Mental Health Commission. Online at: www.mhc.govt.nz/publications/2005/3433.pdf (pp. 42) $15,200
Brookbanks, W., Diesfeld, K., Pearse, J., Mackay, R.D. (2004)The implications of the Sentencing Act 2002 regarding the partial defences of provocation and infanticide. Wellington: Ministry of Health. (Report held by Ministry of Health). (pp.102). $29,000
O'Brien, P. Miller-Burgering,W.,Diesfeld, K. and Vickery, R. (2002) Blueprint for legal services for people with intellectual disability: Interface between people with an intellectual disability and the criminal justice system. Auckland: Auckland College of Education and New Zealand Law Foundation. $40,000
Diesfeld, K. and McIntosh, I. (Eds) (2014) Essentials of Elder Law in New Zealand. Wellington: Thomson Reuters.
Diesfeld, K. and Freckelton, I. (Eds) 2003. Involuntary Detention and Therapeutic Jurisprudence: International Perspectives on Civil Commitment. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Diesfeld, K. (2017) Feminist commentary on the Seale’s judgment: The intersection of gender and vulnerability. In R. Powell and E. McDonald (Eds) The Feminist Judgment Project. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 125-133.
Diesfeld, K. (2017) Aged care and liberty deprivations In I. Freckelton and K. Petersen (Eds) Tensions and Traumas in Health Care. Sydney: Federation Press, 36-50.
Diesfeld, K. (2017) Raranga nga whenu: Weaving strands of bioethics and law in New Zealand. In G. Nicolas (Ed) Le Droit de la Santee en Nouvelle-Caledonie: De la Medicine Traditionelle a la Bioethique. Noumea: Univerisite de la Nouvelle-Caledonie., 184-194.
Diesfeld, K. (2014) Elder law in the New Zealand context. In K. Diesfeld and I. Mcintosh (Eds) Essentials of Elder Law in New Zealand. Wellington: Thomson Reuters. Ch.2, 11-32.
Diesfeld, K. (2013) Implicit factors for psychiatric compulsion. In J. Dawson and K. Gledhill (Eds) New Zealand’s Mental Health Act in Practice. Wellington: Victoria University Press. Ch 6, 114-130.
Diesfeld, K. (2013) The expected, and unexpected, issues raised by New Zealand’s Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003. In B. McSherry and I. Freckelton (Eds) Coercive Care: Law and Policy. Melbourne: Routledge Taylor & Francis Ch.14. 241-257.
Diesfeld, K. (2012) Paramedic practice in New Zealand: Legal issues and current debates in New Zealand. In R. Townsend and M. Luck (Eds) Applied Paramedic Law and Ethics. Elsevier, Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier. Ch. 14, 312-330.
Diesfeld, K. (2012) Written communication for health and disability providers: Legal implications. In S. Shaw, A. Haxell, T. Weblemoe (Eds) Communication Across the Lifespan. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ch. 22, 258-268.
Diesfeld, K. and J. Hancock (2011) Special Education Law in New Zealand. In C. Russo (Ed) The Legal Rights of Students with Disabilities: International Perspectives. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group. Ch.7, 157-178.
Diesfeld K. and Freckelton I. (2006) Mental health law and therapeutic jurisprudence. In I. Freckelton and K. Petersen (Eds) Disputes and Dilemmas in Health Law. Sydney: Federation Press. Ch. 6, 91-116.
Kersey, K., Diesfeld, K., Surgenor, L., Ip, M. (2017) Professional discipline of the New Zealand nursing residential care workforce: A mixed method analysis of HPDT decisions 2004-2014. Journal of Law and Medicine, 24(4), 803-20
Surgenor, L., Diesfeld, K., Kersey, K., Ip, M. (2016) Practitioner health issues featuring before New Zealand’s Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal: An analysis of cases 2004-2014.
Diesfeld, K., Surgenor, L., Ip, M., and Kersey, K. (2016) Name suppression practices of New Zealand’s Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal 2004-2014. Journal of Law and Medicine, 24(2), 490-500.
Surgenor, L., Diesfeld, K., Ip, M., Kersey, K. (2016) New Zealand’s Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal: An analysis of decisions 2004-2014. Journal of Law and Medicine, 24(1), 239-251.
Landon, J., Pike, B., Diesfeld, K., Shepherd, D. (2016) The experiences of parents providing support to adult children with schizophrenia. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 14(4), 385-399. DOI: 10.1007/s11469-016-9643-9
Allenby, R., Dobbs, T., Diesfeld, K., Raja, S., Wilson, D., Koziol-McLain, J. (2016) Safety in online research with women experiencing intimate partner violence: What about the children? Ethics and Behaviour, 00(00) 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/10508422.2016.1140579
Moore, J., Buckingham, D., Diesfeld, K. (2015) Disciplinary Tribunal cases involving New Zealand Lawyers with physical or mental impairments, 2009-2013. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 22(5), 649-672.
Ng, L. Hatters Friedman, S., Diesfeld K. (2015) Checking and balancing New Zealand Mental Health Review Tribunals: Perspectives of forensic patients. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Published online 23 June 2015. Doi:10.1080/13218719.2015.1034062
Van Rooyen, A., Water, T., Rasmussen, S., Diesfeld, K. (2015) What makes a child a ‘competent’ child? New Zealand Medical Journal, 128(1426), 88-95).
Phillips, M., Chen, H., Diesfeld, K., Xie, B., Cheng, H., Mellsop, G., Liu, X. (2013) ‘China’s new mental health law: reframing involuntary treatment’. The American Journal of Psychiatry April , 170(6), 588-591. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.12121559
Diesfeld, K. and Mellsop, G. (2012) ‘ Mental Health Law of the People’s Republic of China: Inviting Dialogue’, Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry, 24(6), 360-361.
Diesfeld, K. (2012) ‘Apology in the New Zealand mental health context: An enigmatic juxtaposition?’ Waikato Law Review Taumauri, Vol. 20, 50-66.
Prebble, K., Diesfeld, K., Frey, R., Sutton, D., Honey, M., Vickery, R. , McKenna, B., (July ) ‘The Care Manager’s dilemma: Balancing human rights with risk management for intellectually disabled offenders under the IDCCRA (2003)’. Disability and Society, 2(1). 10.1080/09687599.2012.695527
Mellsop, G. and Diesfeld, K (2012) ‘Service availability, compulsion and compulsory hospitalization’. Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry, 24(1), 44-45.
Culy, R., Reid, D., Diesfeld, K. (2011) ‘Cervical spine manipulation, a procedure with rare but potentially serious adverse reactions: Exploring the ethical dimensions’. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, Vol. 39, No. 3, 114-121.
Mellsop, G,. and Diesfeld, K. (2011) ‘Psychiatric diagnosis in legal systems: An issue of validity’, Journal of Medicine and Law, Vol. 30 (4), 517-527.
Mellsop, G. and Diesfeld, K. (2011) ‘Viewpoint: Legal Frameworks for Compulsory Treatment (and Beyond)’, Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry, 23(1), 73-74.
Diesfeld, K. (2011) ‘Analysis of legal cases for prevention of elder abuse: Decisions from New Zealand’. Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol. 18, 737-748.
O’Brien, A., McKenna, B., Thom, K., Diesfeld, K, Simpson, A.I.F. (2011) ‘Use of Tasers on people with mental illness: A New Zealand database study’. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Vol. 14, 39-43.
Diesfeld, K. (2010) ‘Professional discipline: Analysis of New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal Decisions’, Waikato Journal of Education, Vol. 15, No 2, 87-100.
Diesfeld, K. and Godbold, R. (2010) ‘Legal rehabilitation of health professionals in New Zealand’, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, April, Vol.17, No. 4, 186-194.
Diesfeld, K. (2010) ‘Legal services for disabled people in New Zealand’. In J.H. Stone, M. Blouin (eds). International Encyclopedia of Rehabilitation. Available online: http://cirrie.buffalo.edu/encyclopedia/article.php?id=256&language=en
Reed Law and Psychiatry Mental Health Law, University of San Diego School of Law
Times Justice Award, Kent Law Clinic, University of Kent at Canterbury
New Zealand Vice Chancellors’ Women in Leadership Recipient, AUT University
Outstanding Senior Researcher, School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies, AUT 2012
Excellence in Mentorship Award, School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies, AUT 2015