Win for Mental Health in the Waikato
Jenny Marcroft MP
Spokesperson for Health
17 October 2019
New Zealand First is today welcoming the announcement of a $100m mental health facility for Waikato to improve outcomes for those with mental health and addiction issues in the region.
New Zealand First Spokesperson for Health Jenny Marcroft says the announcement to replace the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre reflects both the Coalition Government’s focus on improving Kiwis’ mental health, and its focus on the wellbeing of regional communities.
“In government, we’re acting on previously ignored concerns from the mental health sector that facilities such as Waikato’s Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre are no longer fit-for-purpose,” says Ms Marcroft.
“The Centre, and its hard-working staff, provide essential services for those with acute mental health and addiction problems. However, it has aged since its opening in the 1990s and risks losing its accreditation, according to the Waikato District Health Board.
“On top of its ageing facilities, the Waikato region experienced a 72 percent increase in people being seen by mental health and addiction services over the past nine years. Other regions saw similar increases in demand for mental health services, while funding for those services failed to keep pace.
“New Zealand First promised a serious focus on mental health in government. Through our re-establishment of the Mental Health Commission, along with delivering an unprecedented level of funding for mental health and addiction services and facilities, we’re walking the talk,” says Ms Marcroft.