As if the news that National were cutting funding to one of our largest suicide help lines at a time the suicide rates are spiking wasn’t bad enough, it turns out the contract has actually gone to Bill English’s wife!
An organisation that recently won a million-dollar government contract has dismissed speculation that the presence of the Prime Minister’s wife on the board was a factor.
The Ministry of Health announced LeVa as the “new, preferred supplier” for national suicide prevention training in March this year, ending a 10-year contract with Lifeline.
The switch, reported by the Herald yesterday, prompted advocates who work in the mental health sector to note that Dr Mary English, a GP in Wellington, was on LeVa’s board.
However, LeVa chief executive Dr Monique Faleafa told the Herald this morning that the new programme was an evidence-based international approach and English had not even read the proposal yet.
Oh come on, Mary didn’t tell Bill she was going for a major new suicide funding proposal? Bill had no idea? The officials deciding on the funding didn’t know she was Bill’s wife?
With her long, long, long anti-abortion stance, homophobic stance, anti-feminist health platform stance, I’m highly suspicious of anything that the incredibly religious Dr Mary English touches and a new ‘evidence-based international approach’ to suicide sounds like the double speak private companies use to hide moralistic right wing ideology masquerading as social policy.
Gutting one of NZs biggest suicide counselling lines at a time of spiking suicide to give the contract to Bill English’s wife isn’t just ‘bad optics’ it’s a lack of perspective that screams arrogance at such a frequency that it shatters the eyeballs in their sockets.
The entitlement of these people is unbelievable.