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NZ First driving better mental health outcomes for kiwis

A key coalition commitment to re-establish the mental health commission, negotiated by New Zealand First, is on its way to being realised.

Today, appointees to the board of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission were announced by the Coalition Government. The initial Commission will lay the foundation for the establishment of the permanent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission in February 2021.

New Zealand First spokesperson for Health Jenny Marcroft has welcomed the appointment of chairman Hayden Wano, and members Kelly Pope, Kevin Hague, Julie Wharewera-Mika and Kendall Flutey.

“The Coalition Government is engaging the best expertise to get this flagship New Zealand First policy off the ground and drive the improvements in the mental health system all Kiwis want to see,” says Ms Marcroft.

“Chairman Hayden Wano is one of our country’s most experienced health administrators, with over 40 years’ experience spanning the mental health, community and medical services sectors.

“Supporting Mr Wano is Young Māori Business Leader of the Year Kendall Flutey, former MP and health sector champion Kevin Hague, clinical psychologist Julie Wharewera-Mika and mental health advocate, youth worker and writer Kelly Pope.

“Back in 2017, New Zealand First promised that in government we would take our responsibilities to improving Kiwis’ mental health outcomes seriously. Nine years of National Party neglect of Kiwis’ mental health, which saw the Mental Health Commission closed down, has torn at our social fabric.

“Addressing our country’s mental health crisis is one of our key priorities in government. We are proud to be driving this change, which will help nurture the mental wellbeing of all New Zealanders,” says Ms Marcroft.

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