I’ve known Mike for about 20years. His passion and drive to respond meaningfully to the pandemic of suicide is breathtaking. The grief he wades through on a weekly basis from Whānau who reach out to him at their most raw and painful requires a strength and courage beyond my reckoning.
He is at the coalface of suicide and his voice matters. The systemic failures he sees are a reality that is constantly hidden by bureaucrats who desperately sanitize our suicide statistics.
That he has handed back his medal with all the privileges it bestows is an admission that he can’t in good conscience continue to support the same bureaucrats empowering the same vested interests to produce the same results.
He acknowledges it isn’t Jacinda’s fault but it is politically damaging that the Government have not responded to his criticism.
The Government knew Mike was angry before he went public, they have screwed up by not listening to him.
This is a damning indictment of a public service serving itself rather than the will of the people and a Government powerless to force culture change for real community engagement.
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