INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt Makes U-turn On Suicide Prevention Office

Published: Tue 9 Apr 2024 04:27 PM
Labour welcomes the Government’s U-turn on the closure of the Suicide Prevention Office, says Labour Mental Health spokesperson Ingrid Leary.
“Christopher Luxon’s point blank claims this afternoon in Question Time that the Ministry of Health’s Suicide Prevention Office will not be closed is a win for New Zealanders,” Ingrid Leary said.
“Following immense public backlash, it was a shame that health officials were forced to apologise for making cuts when they were told to do so by the Finance Minister according to her edict of 6.5 percent cuts.
“The buck should have stopped with the budget-holding Minister of Health Shane Reti who continues to avoid responsibility. Meanwhile, the Minister for Mental Health Matt Doocey has been blindsided by the mishandling, and the Government has had to chaotically scramble to save face.
“If the left and the right hands were talking to each other, and costs had been worked through ‘line by line’ as promised, this mess would have been avoided.
“It is still unclear whether the Health Minister knew, why the Mental Health Minister was blindsided by his own colleagues and why the Prime Minister is being left to clean up the mess.
“We will be watching to ensure the current resourcing remains so that the Office is able to deliver for people. It cannot be reduced to a parred-back shell that doesn’t have the function to do the work it needs to,” Ingrid Leary said.

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