The Prime Minister went on to explain that some of the outcomes of the Government’s $1.9 billion investment in mental health services in Budget 2019 – such as more trained staff – may take years to reap rewards.
But mental health advocate King said he was “gobsmacked” by Ardern’s claim a lack of mental health workers was behind long counselling wait times.
In a Facebook post he said his charity Gumboot Friday had thousands of staff ready to go, and asked earlier this year for extra funds from the Government to pay them.
“Knowing you as a woman of integrity I can only assume that you have once again been lied to by your MOH officials so allow me to set the record straight,” he wrote.
“On February 10th this year I informed Health Minister Andrew Little that [Gumboot Friday] had 3854 registered counsellors ready to go and we just needed extra funds to pay them. We also informed him that 100 percent of funds would go to counsellors and we would pick up the admin costs…
Only Labour could announce $2 billion in extra funding for something, and end up making everything worse.