MEDIA WATCH: Action Station playing into Government’s hands over People’s Mental Health Report


This is a mistake by Action Station…

...there is a very clear rational as to why the Government are labelling this report as pushed by “Left-Wing, ant-Government protestors”, and that is because National discovered through the Epsom Tea Pot Tapes and Nicky Hager that their rump voters hate the messenger far more than they are prepared to hate the message.

Action Station trying to argue that they aren’t Left wing anti-Government protestors is a bit like Cameron Slater trying to argue that his blog isn’t offensive and far right.

It’s a tactic that isn’t going to change the narrative that National are trying to impose and it makes Action Station the story rather than the tens of thousands of NZers who desperately need a platform to voice the horrific experience they have had inside our broken mental health system.

It’s not about you Action Station.

The appropriate response to this shit by the Government is to bring the issue right back to the NZers who are suffering inside our broken mental health system.

To date the response has been to insult those who have brought this to light and a cold indifferent ‘meh’. Buying into the first response is playing into the Government’s hands, refocusing it back on what has been exposed as opposed to who is exposing it will find deeper resonance with the electorate.

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Those who have been courageous enough to share their experience deserve nothing less than for them to be the focus.


  1. Action Station should boldly state they are unashamedly ‘progressive’ and ‘socially liberal’, full stop, and shove this up the arrogant Health Minister’s nose.

    Labour and Greens should also unashamedly stand by Action Station and what they do, as anything else would make them lose credibility for being progressive parties.

    This dancing with the “centre voter”, who is really a swing voter, having mostly his or her personal advantages at heart, this should not end up in being dragged into a bland brand territory.

    It is self destructive when a party or organisation does not stand by its principles and by the purpose of its existence, be bold, but conduct surveys and reports along standard scientific and statistical guidelines, to be representative.

    Otherwise we can get any outfit come and say, oh, I have so much anecdotal evidence of this or that being the case, it must be true. Doing that will soon enough lead you into Donald Trump territory and alternative truth arguments.

    Coleman is as the Minister just a JERK, he does try to spin what Key used to do so well, and label every formidable, credible critic a conspiracy adherent or left wing activist or radical.

    The record is broken, when the government tries to play that tune over and over again, it is soon losing more listeners, as it is no longer believed.

  2. It is a pretty typical National response, if you don’t like the message, attack the messenger. If you can’t defend your policy, denigrate the policy of other political parties. If you can’t develop your own policy, re-package policy from somewhere else.
    At all times, pander to the already wealthy to maintain your base!!

  3. I seem to remember those who protested the Springbok Tour were dissed
    and branded Communists and trouble makers

    ….this narrative was patently false…and shown to be so…it self -branded those who made the accusations

    …i for one have never forgotten those people and would consider them to be, and still to be, potential fascists and non thinkers with a low level of moral development

    …this narrative can backfire badly

  4. Mental Health affects All layers of Society

    It is so wrong of Jonathan Coleman to make a cheap joke of the Report people presented to him in his role as Minister.

    What a pig of a man he is.

    I am sure there will be some National voters who will chastise him. Even if English and Bennett don’t give a cuss.

    You and I both know, that National has slipped in all its standards over the last few years. But for Pete’s sake get rid of Mr low life Coleman and give some constructive help to the Mentally ill.

  5. Martyn – you are very right, sorry, correct. Action Stations has played into the Nats’ hands. Notwithstanding all the gratuitous attacks on the messenger, as a smokescreen to deflect attention from the message, Action Stations have opened themselves up to this attack.

    As was said to them before they started, they need – and it would have been easy to achieve – a much broader base involved on the mental health issue. But they had a fixed tactic in mind, and unfortunately their good work has not been noticed by the majority of kiwis.

    Fortunately, on the mental health issue, all is not lost – as there is, and will continue to be, huge scope for exposing the failings of the current mental health system. Our family has said for some months now that it is possible to make this a significant election and community issue – and it is becoming that. Today alone, the FB page we’ve set up in honour of our son – ‘Nicky Autumn Stevens’ – has posted 9 new items highlighting the issues.

    The parliamentary parties are starting to fall over themselves with press releases on the subject, although so far only Labour seems to have any strategy to their announcements, belated as it is.

    It is good that Labour Leader Andrew Little has taken up the cudgels in the mental health area, as quite frankly Health spokesperson David Clarke has been missing in action. It is also a pity that the Greens’ Kevin Hague pulled out of Parliament, as he was one of the few who realised what needed to be done in this area. The Greens have since gone missing in action as well.

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has issued more press releases promising more action on mental health than you could shake a stick at, but he will gain no traction, as he’s had 9 years to do something, and leaving it until the last 6 months just makes people contemptuous of him. Honest National Party members cringe when the issues of mental health and Jonathan Coleman come up in polite conversation.

    NZ First have some reasonable ideas on mental health floating around, and one or two people who are keen students of the issue, but they are too intent on waiting for Winston to take a lead, and consequently they are also missing in action.

    The Maori Party are largely useless on the subject, and in fact run scared from it – even though their constituency is the worst affected. Te Ururoa Flavell wrote once to our family a year ago saying he was bringing a matter to the attention of the Minister, but that the letter was the only time he was prepared to raise the issue, As if that would make it go away – grow some, Te Ururoa!

    Andrew Little is quite right when he says it is raised almost all the time at public meetings – lets keep that going, and make all the election meetings address into debates on this issue.

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