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Maori Council to make a stand at the Waitangi Tribunal

The Executive Director of the New Zealand Maori Council, Matthew Tukaki, has called the Governments response to mental health announced today “nothing more than a weak response focusing in on the same old delivery method.”

“All New Zealanders were told to expect more and while I appreciate that things take time to change the current system the response today to simply fund a GP practice model on a very small scale is nothing more than weak. If we always do what have essentially always done then nothing will change,” Tukaki said

“Here is the thing – a good number of those who end up taking their lives never see a GP of health professional in the immediate lead in to their death. Another point I make us we already have a significant problem when it comes to getting more Maori to see a GP for general health let alone a mainstream mental professional. A lot of people who suffer from mental health or attempt (or) take take their lives suffer very much from the daily struggle of life.” Tukaki said

“I’d also remind the Minister of Health that he told New Zealanders nearly two weeks ago that it would be weeks not months before we the Government announced a suicide prevention strategy – well Minister its been weeks and still nothing.” Tukaki said

“If we are going to make an inroad into mental health, especially when it comes to Maori and middle aged men then we need to change the business model and in some cases throw it out. We need to go to communities and where people meet and lives their lives instead of building something in the hope they come. That means a community based workforce that doesn’t always have to be a qualified GP or psychologist but people trained in the basics of listening and referring, supporting and talking.“ Tukaki said

“And then we have a small investment into only certain areas. Its all areas and not some that our focus. I continue to be hopeful but then I continuously just read about the same old usual suspects getting a lot of money to tun the same old tired business models with a flashy new front and a logo.
Tukaki said

“And that us why the New Zealand Maori Council will not be holding back when it comes to the Waitangi Tribunal and the health claims coming up in the second round.” Tukaki said

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