News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Minister plays politics with mental health

Minister plays politics with mental health

Source: PSA


Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is playing politics as our mental health system collapses, the health funding coalition says.

The comments follow a press release by the Minister this morning about Mental Health and Addiction nursing levels. campaign co-ordinator Simon Oosterman says hiring an insufficient number of staff is no way to fix our mental health crisis.

"Government funding hasn’t kept up with a growing population and its increasing mental health needs," he says.

"The level of Mental Health and Addiction nurses the Minister is celebrating is a cut in real terms."

Mr Oosterman says mental health users have increased by 60%, but the number of inpatient beds hasn’t changed and Police are dealing with more suicide calls.

"At best, Dr Coleman is out of touch," he says.

"At worst, he’s trying to score cheap political points while diverting attention away from a mental health system breaking under National’s watch."

Mr Oosterman says Dr Coleman’s views are at odds with the mental health and addiction workforce.

A survey by found 9 in 10 people working in health feel they don’t have the staffing or resources to give Kiwis the care they need, when they need it. is a coalition of community groups and people working in health that is calling for adequate health funding.


- 17% increase in Mental Health and Addiction Service nurses since 2011.

- 27% increase in Government Mental Health funding since 2008/09.

- 60% increase in mental health service users since 2007/08.

- 90% of people working in health in 2017 feel they don’t have the resources or staffing to give New Zealanders the health care they need, when they need it.

- A slight decrease in DHB Mental Health inpatient beds (from 598 to 589) since 2011/12.

- 150% increase in the number of people in emergency departments seen with a mental health crisis contact since 2007/08.

- 30% increase from 14,000 to 18,000 in the number of attempted suicides handled by Police since 2012/2013.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Obituary: Whānau Announce The Passing Of Bruce Stewart QSM

Matua Bruce was an award-winning builder before he embarked on a journey to build Tapu Te Ranga Marae in 1974... He built Tapu Te Ranga Marae from recycled material with just $25 and a dream. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The America’s Cup

The fact New Zealand now reigns supreme once again in the most sophisticated contest in the world’s most elite sport – yacht racing – can’t help but reflect the trajectory the country has been on since the 1980s... More>>


Howard Davis: Christopher Marlowe & 'The Tragedy Of Dr. Faustus'

Previous versions of 'The Devil's Pact' can be traced back to the fourth century, Marlowe deviated significantly by depicting his protagonist as unable to burn his books or repent to a merciful God in order to have his contract annulled... More>>


Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland