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Maori Council warns Minister not to proceed with appointment

“ I continue to be amazed at the incompetence of this Government when it comes to suicide prevention and mental health. Not only is this Government about to appoint a regional coroner who has a history of under reporting suicides amongst children to the role of Director of this office of Suicide Prevention they are going to put mental health commissioners in play that are nothing more than a group of usual suspects. So here we are again – little movement at the station.” Tukaki said

“There is no timeline for the actual change in legislation to de-couple the Director of Mental Health role that will bring this new commission into being with teeth. There is no operational plan, business plan or clarity around the funding required to get everything off the ground. In other words this Government has wasted two years to get this up and running and the back end structure and infrastructure embedded so we could have seen progress at the beginning of 2019. So let’s be clear here because of the dithering of the Minister and the game of clowns being played by the Ministry of Health we have lost time.” Tukaki said

“Then there is the issue of the Office of Suicide Prevention and that appointment. For the Minister to agree to an appointment of a coroner who is not trusted when it comes to judgements is both shameful and wrong. We are talking about a coroner who I openly question whether or not she has been responsible for determinations that lead to the under reporting of suicides amongst children – if the Minister agrees to that appointment then what signal are we sending?” Tukaki said

“And I am sick and tired of asking for a dedicated and specific Commissioner for Maori, chosen by Maori and focused on Maori issues. Just appointing someone who is Maori is like ticking the old brown box – it hasn’t worked before and it won’t work now.” Tukaki said

“All the Council and the vast majority of Maori are asking for is common sense prevail and can we stop listening to the very Ministry who has presided over this mess for years – when I said we needed to be bold and brave I meant it. The old business models do not work. Lets embark on a journey.” Tukaki said

“This is not a plan – this is a band aid solution again – this is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.” Tukaki said

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