The Lake

For more than five years, New Zealand investigative journalist Aaron Smale has been digging into the injustices - and crimes - of the state welfare system of Aotearoa New Zealand. Of all the unbelievable stories he has investigated, none is more shocking than what happened to children and adolescents at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital in the 1970s under the supervision of head psychiatrist Selwyn Leeks. This podcast contains descriptions of physical, sexual and psychological abuse perpetrated against children, as well as swearing, and frank discussions about mental health and suicide. Take care when and where you listen.


21:47:20 2021-10-24
As Rangi Wickliffe and Tyrone Marks go through the hell of New Zealand’s state welfare system, the boys form a powerful bond of friendship. Their journey is one of neglect and mistreatment, but also adventure and skulduggery, on the road to the notoriou...
21:53:46 2021-10-24
Rangi and Tyrone are in an institution unlike any they’ve been in before. There’s no other children, for a start, only mentally unwell and dangerous adult patients. But in 1972 they are joined by other kids, when the Lake Alice Child & Adolescent ...
21:51:00 2021-10-24
A 13 Year old Niuean boy named Hake Halo smuggles a secret message to his family, written in the speech bubble of a smiling cartoon figure. It says: “fakesoka he fowa au tagi au” or, “I have been given electric shock by the people, Mum. The pain is ...
21:30:36 2021-10-24
While the NZ public has some idea of what happened to the kids of Lake Alice, the true horror of it lies in unfiltered accounts of the day-to-day. For these children, things like eating dinner, going to bed or watching a movie all came with the possibilit...
21:48:34 2021-10-24
Kids could only stay at the Lake Alice Child & Adolescent for so long, and at 16 they were packed up and sent on. We follow the Lake Alice kids as they try to get on with their lives through the 80s and 90s, and meet Kevin Banks, who’s been fighting...

21:54:50 2021-10-24
Finally the kids of Lake Alice will have their chance to be heard at the Royal Commission of Inquiry. We follow the survivors to Auckland, where they reunite with old friends and take their truth to the stand. Will the Crown take accountability for harm p...
21:03:06 2021-10-17
For more than five years, New Zealand investigative journalist Aaron Smale has been digging into the injustices - and crimes - of the state welfare system of Aotearoa New Zealand. Of all the unbelievable events he has investigated, none is more shocking t...