This week our MPs were busy around the country spreading the word about our Wellbeing Budget, and how our investments in mental health, child poverty, homelessness, and more, are going to build on the work we've already done to make New Zealand a better place.
We made mental health support in Tairāwhiti better and easier to get
The suicide rate in Tairāwhiti is double the national average.
Yet, the people of Tairāwhiti who require mental health services don’t have local access to a residential drug treatment facility or any dedicated beds.
We're changing that.
As part of our Wellbeing Budget, Health Minister David Clark announced this week that we're funding new and upgraded mental health and addiction facilities at Hauora Tairāwhiti Gisborne Hospital. This will mean the people of Tairāwhiti can access local, high-quality support when they need it.
The two projects include a new inpatient mental health and addiction unit, and the refurbishment of the existing acute mental health facility at Hauora Tairāwhiti Gisborne Hospital. These facilities play a key role in ensuring people in Tairāwhiti have access to high quality services, and that they get the care they need and deserve.
The new facility will be tailored to meet the needs of the people of Tairāwhiti. This reflects a new approach to ensure that services are designed alongside iwi, people with lived experience, and communities to meet the specific needs of people in different regions and deliver better access and more choice. Read more here.
Our Government is taking mental health seriously - and one way we're doing this is through the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund.
This new fund will support organisations that improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes in our rainbow communities, particularly for our young people.
We stepped up our protection for Māui dolphins
Māui dolphins are critically endangered. It is estimated just 63 adults remain in our waters. It is crucial we act to protect this fragile population of marine mammals.
That's why we're introducing new regulations. From 1 November, commercial fishing vessels at greatest risk of encountering the rare Māui dolphin will be required to operate with on-board cameras from 1 November, as the next step to strengthen our fisheries management system.
One of the priorities of the Wellbeing Budget is to support regions and businesses adjust to long-term environmental challenges facing our economy.
We built safer communities with more Police
This week we celebrated the record for the greatest number of new Police officers to graduate in a single year.
Thursday's graduation ceremony of 78 recruits means a total of 831 new Police officers have graduated during 2018/19.
One of these recruits was mum-of-three Susie Weeks, who graduated today from the Royal NZ Police College and is about to be posted to Eastern District. Police Constable Weeks has raised three sons, two who have gone on to be Police officers. Her husband and brother-in-law also work for Police.
We supported Kōhanga Reo and the success of our tamariki
We recognise the importance of kōhanga reo and its crucial role in the revitalisation of te reo Māori.
Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced $32m in Wellbeing Budget funding this week, so that kōhanga reo can continue to support our tamariki to succeed as Māori.
“This is the start of what equality for kōhanga reo looks like,” Kelvin Davis said. "Kōhanga reo have waited way too long for this day."
The new funding will significantly lift wages, allow volunteers to be paid, repair buildings, and more.