Government delivers on mental health commitment

The Government is delivering on election commitments and a key recommendation of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction with the establishment of a permanent independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Health Minister Dr David Clark says.

Legislation enabling the establishment of the fully independent Crown entity passed its third and final reading in Parliament today.

“Creating an independent commission shows just how seriously this Government takes New Zealand’s mental health challenges and the path mapped out by He Ara Oranga to tackle them,” David Clark says.

“This delivers on the election commitments made by Labour, NZ First and the Greens. It also fulfills the commitment in the coalition agreement between New Zealand First and Labour.

“Mental health and addiction issues touch everyone in New Zealand at some stage. Now more than ever, we need to do all we can to support people’s mental wellbeing so it’s pleasing to see the widespread support for the new Commission.

“The Commission will keep us on track by providing independent oversight of mental health and wellbeing in New Zealand. It is tasked with holding the Government of the day and other decision-makers to account for their contribution to improving the mental health and wellbeing of people in New Zealand.

“I’m also pleased to confirm that Cabinet last month agreed to $12.9 million in funding for the Commission over the next four years,” David Clark said.

The new Commission is expected to be fully established by February 2021. In the meantime, the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is already up and running and it has a key role which includes monitoring the Government’s progress in responding to He Ara Oranga.

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