Minister Little all out of answers on mental health

In Parliament today Health Minister Andrew Little had few answers to my questions on the mental health crisis Labour has allowed to balloon in their nearly four years in Government, National’s Mental Health spokesperson Matt Doocey says.

“New Zealanders want answers as to how need for services is growing, the amount of funding announced has grown, and yet the Minister removed funding in the last budget. Those three things cannot all be true.

“It appears Minister Little is either unaware of the unspent $4 million (mental health) appropriation returned back to the Crown in the recent Budget or he would rather New Zealand wasn’t aware of it.

“Minister Little was more interested in pointing the finger at his colleague and predecessor Minister David Clark and deflecting blame for outcomes that have worsened under the Labour Government.

“Few New Zealanders will have seen Minister Little’s failure to answer to the Government’s mental health failings in Parliament today, but unfortunately far too many of them will be experiencing the failures themselves as they seek help for loved ones.

“The Minister can reminisce about his time in Opposition as much as he likes, but I can tell him that the National Party are focused on the here and now.

“Mental Health is a priority for us and we would rather hear how he is going to ensure that children are receiving mental health care in much less time than the eight weeks many are waiting currently.”