Dave Macpherson – Suicide Prevention Strategy shown to be a fraud

By   /   May 16, 2017  /   7 Comments

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The only problem was, the Government didn’t like even the idea of a target they could actually be held to. Accountability is a concept for others, not them, so they had that removed, and other offending words sanitised, so it read like a pile of “PC waffle”, according to Panel member Mike King, who promptly up and resigned in protest.



A few months ago, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and his Health Ministry bureaucrats took alarm at the tom toms beating out the story that the community was getting a bit alarmed at the high and growing incidence of suicide in New Zealand – and decided to re-work their 2010 strategy for suicide prevention in time for the election campaign, so they couldn’t be easily accused of the fact that they were doing bugger all about the problem.

There are some truly alarming suicide statistics in this country, like New Zealand having the highest incidence in all OECD countries of youth male suicides, and one of the worst amongst young females. That Maori and Pacific youth suicides are several times the general population average. That suicides amongst the male farming community are growing – hell, that’s a vital one, those are National voters!

So a good community-led strategy, that has some concrete targets, and even actions, attached could be a good thing? [I know, actions cost money, probably bucketloads, so a couple of pilot actions in out of the way places like the West Coast and Fiordland should do the trick.]

Well off went an earnest group of community representatives and Govt Dept bureaucrats to do the noble business. The only trouble was, the community representatives clearly got a bit bolshie and suggested the radical move of cutting suicides in NZ to no more than 112 per year (20% of current levels) should be the target the strategy was aiming to achieve. Some thought the vision, or target, should be zero, but they were argued out of that. So 20% was agreed on, and off it went to the Ministry of Health ‘editors’ to wordsmith the document to go out for ‘consultation’.

The only problem was, the Government didn’t like even the idea of a target they could actually be held to. Accountability is a concept for others, not them, so they had that removed, and other offending words sanitised, so it read like a pile of “PC waffle”, according to Panel member Mike King, who promptly up and resigned in protest.

King said in a letter the Coleman

“The plan has buried all new ideas in such impenetrable language they are beyond recognition and unlikely to ever see the light of day. It is a strategy that is so broad in its effort to please everyone it will eventually collapse under the weight of public expectation. This will please no one except you and the politicians you serve.”

In itself, the King resignation is not the biggest deal, but it piles a bit more pressure onto a Government that has been comatose at the wheel of the mental health bus, which is definitely in need of a complete re-bore, if not an engine change. This issue is becoming an election issue, despite National’s best efforts to dampen it down, and those that don’t get on the bus might actually be run over by it!


Dave Macpherson is TDB’s mental health blogger. He became a Waikato DHB member after his son died from mental health incompetence.

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  1. Jack Ramaka says:

    Not really sure what game the Natzis are playing and who their target audience is, “however you can only fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time” ?

  2. Helena says:

    Why do we keep looking to Service to Self governments to solve anything? Governments lead us into wars for the bankers, into poverty for the bankers while patting us on the head saying we’ve never had it so good and that we should grow up and put up and recognize pitfalls of “economic growth”. Meanwhile, our assets are being sold off to the country’s creditors. Who cares if the population decreases by suicide? Not this government or any other. Depopulation by any means is the agenda. Conspiracy “theories” become see-able facts by the day.
    By deliberately dragging this country into poverty our largest creditor will, IMO, take over policy issues without firing a gun.
    The debt clock is unbelievable http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/newzealand
    on what has this money been spent? Not the HEALTH of New Zealanders that is for sure.

    • Michelle says:

      Helena the IMO and IMF are already telling us what to do, sell assets, cut back on welfare etc we look to our govt because we pay taxes and people elect them to look after our country and our people not themselves and there rich mates they are suppose to look after us and they ain’t

  3. bert says:

    This is will be why National don’t like targets Dave…


    National are abject failures and the result of a 5 year target for lowering crime is appalling. I doubt they wish to be failures twice.

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    What happened to the ‘investment approach’, I wonder? Here is what Treasury thought of it some time ago:

    “Social Investment puts the needs of people who rely on public services at the centre of decisions on planning, programmes and resourcing, by:

    * Setting clear, measurable goals for helping those people;
    * Using information and technology to better understand the needs of people who rely on social services and what services they are currently receiving;
    * Systematically measuring the effectiveness of services, so we know what works well and what doesn’t;
    * Purchasing results rather than specific inputs, and moving funding to the most effective services irrespective of whether they are provided by government or non-government agencies.”

    BS figures offered by MSD, supposedly giving actuarial ‘evidence’ of such an approach working:

    Our dear Dr Coleman (04 May 2017), speaking more drivel and propaganda:

    CPAG’s more realistic view of it all (Sept. 2016):

    “The Government is not rolling out a policy of social investment, ‘allocating money in the expectation of some benefit in the future’. The Government is not investing in children so they can lead more productive and fulfilling lives that will contribute to the current and future wellbeing of us all. The Government has just found another way to disguise its reduction in social spending.”

    Bill Rosenberg, CTU, ‘The Investment Approach is Not an Investment Approach’, Policy Quarterly, Nov. 2015, exposing the flaws:

    We get endless spin and propaganda, but when some in the media dare ask some hard questions to those working at the front line, we learn this:

    That means:
    Stakeholders are behind the scenes told to SHUT THEIR MOUTHES, and cooperate, in allowing the government run its experiments on the most vulnerable in society!!!

    Mike King, comedian, had enough of spin and lies, and throws in the towel, not willing to work with a dishonest, non committing government:

    Investment in what and in whom, I wonder, huge salaries for those spinning and misleading, as “advisors” to move people off benefits:

    Use of flawed and false ‘evidence’ used by MSD revealed:


    (new current PDF with post, 19.09.16)



    So those who bother to look behind the lies, spin and endless government propaganda, which is licked up by those seeing opportunities for making money and profits, in getting jobs for themselves also, they will soon realise what it is, a gigantic con job of massive proportions.

    It is time for those knowing that it is not working, and knowing what risks are being taken, to speak out on all this, before disasters happen!

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      I fully agree with you Dave,

      This lying phoney Government are just toying with words and not action.

  5. Heather says:

    Thanks Dave. Plain speaking as usual.
    Yes action is needed. Change is needed.