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Labour’s Biggest Fails: No Material Improvements In Mental Health

It has been five years since Labour came to office and promised to “transform” New Zealand’s mental health sector, but they have utterly failed to make material improvements, National’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention spokesperson Matt Doocey says.

“Labour announced $1.9 billion for mental health and paraded it around like a trophy. The money has been spent, but nothing has improved.

“There are serious questions that need to be answered. Where has the money gone, why hasn’t it made any difference and why are services harder to access than ever before? Unfortunately Labour has used its majority to stop any chance of scrutiny and are instead hiding from any accountability on their broken promise.

“Only Labour would be able to spend that much money and have nothing to show for it. Even the Mental Health Commission, an independent watchdog, is at a loss as to where the money has gone.

“This Labour Government constantly confuses spending money with outcomes. If money was the answer to solving the many issues facing the sector, then Kiwis’ would have timely access to services, better facilities, and see an overall improvement to the country’s mental wellbeing.

“Unfortunately that is not the case and mental health in New Zealand has never been in a worse state. What Kiwis’ are experiencing is longer wait times to essential services, overcrowding, a worsening state to mental health facilities, and serious workforce shortages.

“This Labour Government have broken too many promises when it comes to mental health, and it is thousands of Kiwis going through a difficult and painful time who are paying the price.

“A National Government will give mental health the attention it deserves with a dedicated Mental Health Minister, who will be able to provide strong leadership and a well-managed plan to execute change that the sector, and Kiwis, desperately need.”

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