Labour blocks inquiry into mental health facilities

In a predictable but disappointing move Labour has today blocked an inquiry into the slow roll out of mental health facilities, National’s Mental Health spokesperson Matt Doocey says.

“Both Labour and National have criticised how long it’s taking to get a shovel in the ground and build these 15 new inpatient mental health facilities, but it’s clear from today that only National wants to do something about it,” Mr Doocey says.

The Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry would’ve investigated:

  • The status of the 15 mental health facilities under development and when each facility is due to open

  • Any delays for each of the 15 mental health facilities announced since November 2017

  • How community based inpatient services could reduce demand for DHB inpatient facilities

  • Whether New Zealand has a gold standard design for purpose built mental health facilities and what that is

  • How the pace of design, planning and building of mental health facilities could be increased to bring forward opening dates

“Labour has spent just 3 per cent of the $438.2 million it allocated for 15 new mental health facilities and upgrades of existing mental health facilities.

“Whakatāne’s mental health unit rebuild has stalled because the DHB and Ministry can’t agree on whether it should have ten or fourteen beds. This is the same inpatient unit that had 108 per cent occupancy last month.

“The masterplan for the new facility in Canterbury was completed ten months ago and has been waiting on the Minister’s final sign off ever since.

“This inquiry was an opportunity for Labour to show it takes New Zealand’s mental health crisis seriously, rather than keep coming up with excuses.

“Mental health is a priority for National. We’ll keep holding the Government to account on its promises to New Zealanders and its inability to deliver on them.”