We're rebuilding our hospitals, protecting our oceans, and taking mental health seriously.
Rebuilding our hospitals
We're redeveloping Taranaki Base Hospital so Taranaki residents can get the care they deserve.
The project will create new critical and acute care facilities including a new Emergency Department (twice as large as the current one), purpose-built maternity facilities and delivery suite, a new postnatal ward and neonatal unit, a rooftop helipad for faster, safer patient transfers, and more.
This rebuild is the most recent in a long line of hospitals we're upgrading and rebuilding after nine years of neglect under the previous Government.
Taking mental health seriously
We're taking mental health seriously, investing in a new acute mental health facility in Waikato. We're swapping outdated facilities for new, modern spaces centered around patients and their whānau - because we know that being in the right environment is essential for recovery and mental wellbeing.
We also know that people shouldn't have to wait to hit crisis-point before they get the mental health and support they need. That's why our investment in mental health also includes new frontline services, with mental health advisers in GPs and more online and over-the-phone support.
Eliminating terrorist and violent extremist content online
Countering violent extremism online is an important part of our response to the March 15 terrorist attacks, following on from gun reform, the Royal Commission of Inquiry and the Christchurch Call.
This week, we announced we're stepping up work to keep New Zealanders safe from harmful content online.
We're investing in doubling the the investigative, forensic, intelligence and prevention work of the Department of Internal Affairs, bolstering the Chief Censor’s current work to assess and make fast decisions and strengthening our laws to ensure we can swiftly respond to violent extremist material. In the longer term, we will look at how online providers should be regulated as part of the media.
The changes mean we can target this material in a similar way to how we target child sexual exploitation material, by working quickly with online content hosts to remove it as quickly as possible.
Our online world must be a force for good where we can exchange ideas, share technology, and maintain civil liberties, while keeping New Zealanders safe.
Protecting our coasts and oceans
This week we welcomed the release of Our Marine Environment: a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.
As it stands, sediment from the land is polluting our coastal areas - harming shellfish and kelp beds, hurting our inshore fisheries. Our proposed water reform programme will better protect wetlands and estuaries, which help trap sediment and stop it flowing into the sea. It will improve the current management of freshwater but it will also help protect marine areas.
We're working hard to protect our oceans - we’ve already phased out single-use plastic supermarket bags, banned microbeads, and work is underway on a container return scheme which will reduce plastic bottles polluting the environment. Kerbside and commercial recycling are to be improved and more product stewardship schemes are being put in place.
Our goal is to extend marine protected area coverage even further and have a nationwide network in place representing New Zealand’s marine ecosystems.
(The Our Marine Environment 2019 report is available at: https://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/marine/our-marine-environment-2019)