I wish we could care about housing the mentally ill the way we do about an orca calf


Another week, another abysmal failure of delivery by Labour…

Government plan to move mental health patients into housing helps just three people in 18 months

A government pilot aimed at moving 100 mental health inpatients into stable housinghas housed just three people in 18 months.

The $16.3 million pilot was launched in February 2020 as part of a $337.2m suite of measures aimed at preventing homelessness over four years.

It aimed to help 100 acute mental health or addiction patients transition from inpatient wards in hospitals back into the community, by providing housing and other wraparound support.

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But as of July, just three people had been supported by the scheme, with $1.8m allocated.

We learned that all the Government had to show for $1.9b in mental health was 5 new acute beds and 20000 hours of counseling yet Mike King got no money and was able to provide 15000 hours of counseling.

We learned that over half of beneficiaries didn’t get the promised $20 a week after MSD clawed back the money for their own pockets.

We learned Jacinda would lift 30000 kids out of poverty while leaving 190000 behind.

Today we learn that despite millions budgeted, we have only helped 3 mental health patients gain housing in 18months.

And don’t start me on kiwibuild or the lack of social housing.

The real difference difference between Labour and National is this.

National are ruthless pricks. Nasty, bullying ruthless pricks and you need nasty bullying ruthless  pricks to beat the bejesus out of the Wellington bureaucracy to actually get shit done.

Labour on the other hand wants to give everyone a cuddle and an inclusive Hui with a vegan lunch menu in te Reo and a side dish of pronouns, where they all feel safe and as such, the Wellington bureaucracy isn’t scared of Labour.

Jacinda pumped $1.9 billion into mental health and what has she got for it? 5 extra acute mental health beds! The Wellington bureaucracy are laughing at her and divvying up the latest splurge of cash on whatever they want.

New Zealanders don’t understand that the representative democracy they interact with once every 3 years is merely a masquerade of democracy, a pretense to keep you voting and giving the process the flimsiest of legitimacies, the real powers are the Wellington bureaucracy and a Party’s success is determined purely by how much they can force the Wellington bureaucracy to actually implement policy.

In the words of the great Unionist, Robert Reid…

National got shit done because the Wellington bureaucracy was frightened of them, Labour can’t achieve jack shit because they are too busy giving everyone a cuddle.

Kiwibuild, child poverty, inequality, that bloody bike bridge we all know they will never build – Labour can’t bully or headkick the Wellington bureaucracy and that’s why nothing ever gets done.

This is ultimately a political failure by Labour – they didn’t expect to win in 2017 & didn’t expect to win a majority in 2020, so they had no reform agenda for the neoliberal bureaucracy.

There’s no point shoveling billions into policy when the bureaucracy fiefdoms rule!

I wish we could care about housing the mentally ill the way we do about an orca calf.


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  1. The gross incompetence across so many departments needs investigating.
    Tens and hundreds of millions of dollars are evaporating without any accountability.
    It is so bad it beggars belief.
    Is there a single functional government department that can do its job?
    Is this actual corruption?

    Yes the poor wee Orca, I think many were a tad optimistic on its chances.

  2. Labour are just a polite version of National. The excuses for whatever reason, no longer hold water.

    They are comfortable with our failed system of housing because it doesn’t affect them, yet! And it’s meant to fail anyway.

    Labour see criminals not as a problem but just a diverse group coming at things from a different angle.

    But really what this Labour government are, in summary, is a group of B grade child actors in a political soap. Awkward marionettes in a third rate remake of Thunderbirds. Watching Hipkins adlib does that. Faafoi, more of a sock puppet. And as for Woods, the strings are embarrassingly obvious. Maybe that’s why she does so few appearances nowadays. Their talents are so marginal however, that they actually threaten the very ministries that pull their strings, or stick their hands up their backsides.

    Bloody ironic really.

    • I don’t think Labour is muddling along with housing until it affects them, I think they cynically, like National have been running the economy to benefit Auckland house prices.
      Because woe betide the government that causes a fall in net worth of that key voting demographic.
      Hence home owners are first to get looked after by printing money and causing massive house price inflation far worse than the previous government.
      700 million dollar cycle bridges also for this Auckland demographic, rural towns struggling after natural disasters get fuck all: 600k.

      These things aren’t accidental they are very cynical politics and signs of a government that isn’t governing but ruling and pitting some chosen citizens against others.

    • I stopped voting a few cycles a go. Had always voted Left bloc – Labour or Green. It has mutated into a highly infectious and virulent hybrid of neo-liberalism and Woke.

  3. Hang on a minute…

    The history of Mental Health ABUSE in NZ is abominable – It goes back for decades upon decades. There has been torture, – harm committed on citizens, for a very very long time.

    Our mental health hospitals were horror chambers, where various experimentation was carried out. I know this from what was done to members of my own family, and also for a brief time work within or around the edges of the system.

    Now you expect one govt to magically wave a wand and fix a history of cruelty committed/ sanctioned by previous govts of same country?

    I am NOT saying this govt’s response, or rather non-response is helpful. They need to change course – They dissolved the old Ministry – no real problem with that, as its history was so bad. But now, it is time for them to reappraise, re-think, and install something better.

    Mental and Emotional Health does need its own portfolio – its own separate Ministry, with someone who will take responsibility and oversee all the useless little bureaucrats down the line – tough enough to get them off their comfy butts and start earning their wages.

  4. It’s the trickle down marketing method at work again.

    Pay select groups to talk and think about problems, don’t worry about actual results!

    • That’s exactly what happened about food prices. As calls came in to do something about the high/ rising costs of food, guess what they did. …They set a person or group to carry out a study!! …a “Review”!! … of supermarket pricing. With a generous year or so to present their ‘findings’.

      So very much easier to divert, rather than begin to address the problem – Eg, Remove the damn GST off all aspects of our local AO/NZ food growing, or at least remove it from home grown fruit and veggies and cheese eg. THAT would be actually doing something. Instead, another freaking year-long ” ” “Review” ” ” !!!

      • Kheala. Agree, gst on food borders on criminal negligence, it’s indefensible. It should be bumped off kids’ clothing too. Out in the real world, we know how quickly kids qcan grow, how their clothes can get thrashed, why socks and shoes are a good idea in cold wet winters. In the privileged world, the power mongers are divorced from every day realities.

        Someone complained last week about the PM advising people to eat less meat – advice probably some sort of wet justification for meat being too expensive for many budgets.

          • Three weeks into my son’s third form year, he arrived home with a sole ripped from the upper of his new school shoes. It blew my budget. School jerseys got swiped. I sewed name tags into secret places to absolutely no avail. They were tough years.

            Today I made meatballs from fake mince. They were the worst meatballs I have ever tasted ; could curry them or something tomorrow – wouldn’t inflict them on an innocent wee kid as is.

        • Our free trade agreement specifically rule out removing gst off only nz product as it would amount to a subsidy. Why do you think they shut talk of it down so quickly less the plebs work out that we were royally screwed by the negotiators and politicians in their excitement of selling our milk powder and logs to china.

  5. MOH officials very rarely have a sense of urgency – as demonstrated in our nation’s Covid controls at the border. Processes have to be followed – all of them – and full agreement reached with internal stakeholders.

    But to be fair to the MOH, how much of this delay is due to having to consult with the local authorities and communities, and then get agreement about the new housing in the neighbourhoods?

  6. Enjoyed that Martyn thankyou.
    Completely endorse the comments of the above contributors.
    A group of B grade child actors.
    The gross incompetence.

  7. I will push my direct action plus united NGO community educational campaigns as long as our esteemed Editor pushes his “woke” issue.

    The pre Xmas “letter to Jacinda” calling for immediate benefit increases from 70 odd groups started the trend. Now many of the same are calling for a state house mega build. The missing ingredient is direct action. Occupations of empty residential and commercial property that would annoy the hell out of some people and put the fear of the proverbial up the Labour Caucus–do they even realise they have the first MMP absolute majority one wonders sometimes?

    Mass sackings in the state sector are required with all senior staff being required to reapply for their own jobs. John Minto should be housing minister, Martyn Bradbury in charge of NZSIS/GCSB and Robert Reid in charge of “Labour relations”. WINZ/MSD needs to be “retired” for good and a basic income paid to all citizens, with top ups for special needs groups.

    Now–this dovetails into Chris Trotter’s recent enquiry–“should the left have left Labour…” well I would argue there was not much of a left there to begin with but…there is now certainly a paucity of anyone there bar Willie Jackson, and Chloe from the Greens outside of Govt, equipped to take on the neo liberal arseholes operating their State Sector Act and Reserve Bank Act. So it comes back to direct action and candidates in 2023 calling for all of the above. Lets see how generation renter for life, and generation student loan and generation precariously employed react to a call for rolling back the neo liberal state!

  8. ‘Another week, another abysmal failure of delivery by Labour’

    An error there, Martyn.

    That should be:

    Another week, another abysmal failure of delivery by LINO (Labour In Name Only).

    It’s been that way since the mid-1980s, and will remain so until the system implodes….very likely later this year but certainly before 2023.

    But never forget that LINO have actually been delivering extremely well since 1984, when you consider the REAL AGENDA -which is to ensure that nothing in the money-lender-come-corporation-control-of society changes and that there is a plethora or opportunities for looting and polluting; preserve the money-lender-corporation-control system, whatever the cost to society or the future of the people.

    Indeed, the current mob of LINO idiots and criminals are not just prepared to sacrifice their children’s future to the system, they are quite comfortable with sacrificing THEIR OWN FUTURES to the preserve the system just a little bit longer.

    Accelerating Planetary Meltdown as a consequence of severe overheating (due to grossly excessive CO2 emissions that result from overpopulation and consumerism and total failure to address anything of significance) is the new normal.

    ‘A year’s worth of rain – 640mm – fell in just three days.’


    Such inundation will be coming to region like yours soon. Or extraordinarily high temperatures and severe drought.

    The government have to keep the masses from making any connection between the current unsustainable economic system and the increasingly dire state of the world and NZ.

    So, LINO are doing a great job for the banks, corporations and opportunists they serve, making everything that matters rapidly worse in the pursuit of short-term profits. And LINO are enriching themselves in the short-term in the process, of course, as all deceitful politicians (Greed party, Nats ACT etc.) do.

    It’s sure going to be ‘interesting’ when this unsustainable system finally crashes after decades of manipulation and lies, and the masses realise just how much they have been systematically lied to.

    Looking forward to the treason trials?

    • Such inundation will be coming to region like yours soon.

      Ummm – can you say “Westport”?
      Can you say “Marlborough”?
      Gisborne? Napier? Canterbury? Northland? Southland?
      Each one of those has had “Emergency! Record Flooding!” in recent times, – with homes lost, roads washed out, some roads closed for months. Ever more people now homeless.

      The CC effect is here now, happening all around us. However, we all just seem to screen it out unless it is our own home town. The only one that got “top billing” as it were, is the tornado in South Auckland. Instant help there. So, I’m guessing it is only when it hits city areas that anyone really notices? (I don’t know… just trying to understand the lack of awareness, lack of concern… Everyone just snoozing on as if nothing’s happening.)

      • They -the so-called ‘authorities’- still have the audacity to describe these increasingly frequent disasters as ‘one-in-a-100-year’ events (or even ‘one-in-a-1000-year’), even though they are starting to occur every few months (weeks?).

        Official policy: Don’t ‘scare the horses’ by admitting the truth [about anything]. Just keep lying, and keep hoping the stupid, ignorant masses will keep swallowing the lies.

        • Right after I read your comment, AFKTT, I turned on the tv for 6.00 pm news and among the first words heard were, “One in 1,000 year flood” – the one in China.

          Down in Westport they’re calling it a “One in 100 year flood”.
          Does anyone even believe that “100 year” line any more?
          Broken records…

  9. I don’t agree that ‘National got things done.’ The only things that they did was ‘balance the books’ whilst accumulating massive infrastructure debt, and keep the wealthy getting richer.
    I totally agree that the Wellington bureaucracy (and elsewhere) needs a huge shake-out.

    • Too right PK. Key was the ultimate Dolittle PM. His idea of transformational change was a rigged flag-change referendum.

  10. A question then, what is the solution if you want to see change enacted? Labour have had four years now in power and surely that’s enough time to come up with a plan even if the excuse of not expecting to win is accepted (I don’t accept it as they had nine years to plan before that).

    With the greens they have 75 mps out of 120 – surely amongst that there are people who can get shit done?

    If not, why not? What’s going on with the recruiting of these people on the left? I don’t like the lazy assertion that they’re all school teachers and the like with no real life experience but it does look like they’re really trying hard to prove this to be true.

    The above said, the patently obvious lack of executive experience across the left in parliament is something that the left really needs to look hard at as they will continue to fail and stumble until they build it up.

    • It’s that relationship that Robert Reid refers to @Yeti and the fact that they seem to think that all you have to do is try and control the message through PR marketing and spin – testament to that is the increase in spin doctors and spin doctoring.
      Agree there are competent people around who could make things happen, although I imagine the best of them are now reluctant to go anywhere near government.

      When @Martyn states that the bureaucracy was scared of the gNats, I suspect that’s true. One example of how this was achieved was the creation of that complete bugger’s muddle called MBIE – The Ministry for Everything that has never been able to walk and chew gum at the same time and which was stacked with ex-bankers and corporate managerialist muppets from day one. Actual worker bees and people that do stuff thin on the ground: Insufficient staff and numbers to do things like process the load of Visa applications or go after workers being exploited – the latter until it became “systemic” and embarrassing.
      It couldn’t even have a successful restructure – and its beyond that anyway. Stack it with one or two ex-cops with a control-freak streak and of average competence, equip them with an additional course or two in management and PR, and Bob’s your Uncle.
      How about its building responsibilities? Shitty steel in construction anyone – dither dither dither.
      We could go through all of its responsibilities one by one and there’d barely be a pass mark anywhere.

      How many Ministers are there responsible for its operation? I’ve forgotten but it’s quite ridiculous and the current MIQ booking system is symbolic of its “innovation” and failure. It’s also a monument to the neo-liberals’ quest for minimal gummint and how everything should be run as a bizzniss regardless of the social costs. Completely the wrong culture for many of its responsibilities.
      Its probably the best example however of what the gNats did, but elsewhere in PS senior management, things got worse and the clear indication sent was that the gNats expected them to fall in line and do neo-liberal bidding. Many of PS CEOs appointed would be comfortable with that anyway.

      Then along comes Labour, who it’s now clear didn’t expect to win. And headed by a kind and compassionate person sure!, but also someone that’s a comms and marketing person. Just right for getting through a pandemic and a mass shooting and persuading people what needed to be done – not so much though when damage and stuff needs to be undone after years of neglect in things like housing, health and education.
      And although Labour has some very nice and compassionate Ministers in the ranks, they don’t appear to have very good bullshit detectors when it comes to dealing with a PS that’s been corrupted by the cult of neoliberalism. And part of that might be because they’ve been in public service roles in the past themselves and they’re true believers in that ‘managing the message’.

      Yes there are competent people around and there is some slight hope things might change a tiny bit. Not fast enough though to stop the electorate becoming truly pissed off.
      It might be what’s necessary though for Labour to learn the lessons they need to learn but it might not be before the gNaCts are allowed to wreak a few more years of havoc and sell off whatever is left of the commons.

    • We keep letting her get away with it, that’s why. The best thing that could happen to this government is a few polls where they are below 40%. Then maybe just maybe they will get their shit together and start to deliver.

      • It’s simple really, for the current polling to change National or ACT will have to appeal more than Labour; on current performance that’s not likely to happen. We desperately need a credible opposition to maintain our democracy, unfortunately National is philosophically lost and destroying itself; ACT is lost in a conflict of freedom for the rich and police state for the poor.

        • ACT is lost in a conflict of freedom for the rich and police state for the poor.

          If they (ACT) see any conflict in that, it has not been apparent.

          • I agree Kheala. I find ACT to be totally self-centred, only interested in protecting their privileges, freedoms and rights; as such they have no desire to even consider the freedoms and rights of society as a whole.

  11. Martyn, I think your headline, whilst attention grabbing and drawing attention to a problem, is not exactly true.
    The truth is , we do care about the mentally ill and many other disadvantaged in our society. Many thousands of Ao/NZers work tirelessly against overwhelming odds to help practically and financially; but such effort is not seen as newsworthy. Unfortunately a lot of the financial help, public & private, is ending up in ‘administering’ the help rather than achieving the assistance it was given for. Many organisations are ‘clipping the ticket’ as the aid dollar filters down to those in need.

    • I think Martyn is trying to illustrate that the hopeless baby orca commands the news with huge gusto for 30 days straight and gets lots of resources and money thrown at it, while some human like Mike King gets the middle finger from some slimy suits in Wellington. That’s how I read his headline.

  12. Neoliberal Governance by Incrementalism.
    Which means; Doing Fuck All (the bare minimum) over a very long time(line). And, if you don’t manage to hit your KPI’s, change priorities and manufacture a new problem that needs your attention immediately, and all of the government’s resources need to be redeployed.

    Let’s have an election now and get MMP back!

  13. Ah yes, the pendulum swings left to right, and back again. Meanwhile everything rots and decays with time, especially when politicians are involved.


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