Jacinda hasn’t failed us on mental health – a Labour Party not sure how to navigate the neoliberal Wellington bureaucracy failed us on mental health   

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The lengths the Wellington Bureaucratic Elite will go to avoid accountability is obscenely laid bare by this devastating news story…

‘A lot of data and negative statistics’: Inside the battle behind dramatic edits and huge delays to a Government mental health report

A routine report on the Government’s mental health services was delayed for over a year as officials battled behind the scenes over plans to dramatically reduce the amount of data in it.

The annual report, released more than two years late on Tuesday, still showed a very distressing picture of New Zealand’s mental health system – with a spike in the use of seclusion, a practice some liken to torture.

But many indicators usually included in the report had been removed after a months-long and contentious editing process revealed in an Official Information Act request, including wait-times, suicide stats and the overall proportion of the population using specialised mental health services.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

…they did everything in their power to hide how little they have actually done in mental health!

Chris Trotter’s must read blog today highlights the power of the neoliberal Wellington elites and the power thy wield…

The State Sector Act (1988) restricted politicians to the formulation of policy. The implementation of that policy was the responsibility of the CEO of the relevant ministry or department. Hiring and firing, and holding his or her underlings accountable for their mistakes – was the CEO’s job – not the Minister’s. Politicians had no role to play in “operational matters”.

That this arrangement constituted a drastic reduction in the power of government ministers to “make things happen” was (and remains) entirely deliberate. That it also profoundly disempowers the people’s representatives, working through the Executive, to give practical expression to the people’s will is, likewise, completely intentional. The neoliberal revolution has always been about limiting the effectiveness of democratic institutions. The State Sector Act fulfils this revolutionary function admirably. 

…The greatest enemy of the new Government is not the National Party, it’s the self interested Ministry fiefdoms whose internal right wing ideological stance will strangle any real attempt at culture change or left wing policy implementation.

There is a legendary story that David Lange would save up all his a cigar and Cigarette ash in his car until he left Wellington on a Friday night so he could dump it on the Wellington motorway. That summed up his contempt.

The great Unionist Robert Reid said it best…

…Jacinda’s kindness is no match for the Wellington Bureaucratic Elite.

 

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, from a direct users point of view, mental health is as bad as it’s ever been, possibly worse. Take two in the morning and get out of my sight should not be a model for mental health treatment but it is for New Zealanders. It’s a disgrace.

    But Jacinda leads a majority government and if bureaucrats are holding her back because of outmoded legislation then she MUST rid is of that legislation. Yesterday!

    It’s no good being a Prime Minister and going to work this eat your lunch, especially the one you are told you are allowed to eat. And that’s pretty much sums up her government so far.

    • Imagine if there was accountability for ministers…… The bureaucracy has become the new 9 years of neglect as the media, the left and woke try to justify incompetence and inability. The current decent of (little) Aotearoa into the 3rd world reflects the first drop of a hypercoaster.

      In 4 years there will be nothing left……..

      • And yet the issues with mental health were the result of John Key and the rabid Right 9 years of neglect, fact. To busy on rampant immigration, and promoting people living in cars. A humane government would have funded health to meet demand, sadly Labour are left with the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

        • bert: “…..the issues with mental health were the result of John Key and the rabid Right 9 years of neglect…”

          Nope. The problems go back much further than that. Further even than the arrival of Rogernomics, I’d have said. That’s my recollection of the health sector, in which I worked from the mid-1960s onward.

          Though things certainly got worse as a result of Rogernomics. And – from the 1990s onward – the misinterpretation by mental health workers of their obligations in terms of the Privacy Act caused significant distress, damage even, to the families of mentally ill people. And often to said mentally ill people themselves, of course.

    • The problem is …. the PSA. The largest public services union and in the MoH too. They’re also the most useless union organisation in NZ. They are like a Gestapo run outfit.

  2. Too many bureaucrats getting paid too much and not enough well trained staff with low case loads using evidence based interventions. Mental health services rise and fall on having the appropriate number of well trained professionals.

    Btw the GPS are the work horses in mental health and most of them do a sterling job

    • saveNZ: “I suspect Rogernomics is not good for metal heath.”

      Or mental health, either.

      The State Sector Act referred to above was passed during the heyday of Rogernomics.

  3. Here’s a clue … the Millennials fell down the Rabbit Hole during the 2017-2020 election campaigns!
    Step one! Manufacture a Crisis!
    2. Pretend someone else did it!
    3. Spend money on it to make the stink go away!
    4. All those wankas promoting it with the “Toxic Positivity” mental disorder need to be exposed for the harm they’ve caused.

  4. Siimply sack them at and set up an Americam model system where the winning leader doesn’t have to deall withe dross from the opposition and appoints a new line of Ministry CEOs.

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