7 August 2014
Labour has listened to concerns about the funding crisis in the NGO mental health and addiction sector according to Platform, New Zealand’s national network of non-government community organisations.
“Platform is delighted Labour’s Annette King has announced a portion of $20m from the proposed funding increase will directed towards mental health and addiction NGOs” says Marion Blake, CEO of Platform. “While we’re not sure of the detail it, will go some way in addressing the funding hole created by the District Health Boards’ practice of withholding the annual inflationary adjuster intended for NGOs.”
Ms Blake said Labour’s announcement follows a mental health and addictions political debate in Auckland last week. “We were encouraged by the responses from political parties to the questions raised on the night. There was universal support for the critical role NGOs play in responding to the needs of New Zealanders with complex mental health and addiction issues. In relation to funding, parties offered a guarantee they would ensure DHBs passed on the annual inflationary adjuster”. A summary of these have been shared on the Platform website www.platform.org.nz/Elections2014
“Encouraged by Labour front footing things to avert the funding crisis Platform members now anxiously await announcements from the government and other political parties as to how they’ll address the issues outlined on our Fair Funding website” www.fairfunding.org.nz. Tens of thousands of New Zealanders rely on these essential services.
“There is now a ground swell of community and political support for the plight of mental health and addiction NGOs. It would be unconscionable for DHB boards and chief executives to ignore this. Ironically they have it within their delegated authority to act and act now rather than be directed to.
“As a minimum we call on them to guarantee passing on the annual inflationary adjuster they receive from government intended for NGOs. It’s not an unreasonable request. The funding crisis will only deepen the longer they ignore it.
“Above all they need to remember that tens of thousands of New Zealanders with complex mental health and addiction issues rely on these services”.