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Speaker: Election 2014: Mental Health Policies

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  • Kyle MacDonald,

    To clarify: I have no doubt that the tragic events in Ashburton are Political. However I continue to feel uncomfortable about how when we politicise, we loose sight of the individuals involved. The WINZ staff are not political figures and their families should be given space to grieve. Some comments (not here so much) have tended towards forgiving or even encouraging violence. This is a tragedy from every angle and I believe we need to keep our heads, and our humanity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    To clarify: I have no doubt that the tragic events in Ashburton are Political.

    That’s bullshit. The event was that a man killed two people,
    because he was angry. Thats not political, it’s criminal.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle MacDonald,

    Yes: I suspect we actually agree with each other.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    I respect your diplomacy.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle MacDonald, in reply to steven crawford,

    Thanks, I think. It can be both of course. He was angry and this is a horrible criminal act. It's also true he was poorly treated by a political system. But he's not alone in that AND not all mis-treated by WINZ kill.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    I meant it, because we both know that violence is both inexcusable and understandable when people are unwell and isolated by poverty. The political, is what we do about it. My preference is, like you said, something along the lines of, stay calm and think about it.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle MacDonald,

    Great interview on Nine to Noon today about the very real effects of the cuts in DHB funding for mental health, and the risk we may lose a very effective service in Golden Bay, Te Whare Mahana...

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/20148046/community-mental-health-providers-under-pressure

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to steven crawford,

    That’s bullshit. The event was that a man killed two people,
    because he was angry. Thats not political, it’s criminal.

    It's a tragedy, bloody murder. Two innocent people dead and one more likely carrying horrific injuries. Families lost loved ones, colleagues deeply traumatised, a country town in shock at the loss. Lost trust, security, possibly even community.

    Fuck that guy, right? Fuck him for trying to sleep in the park where people could see him. Fuck him for demanding to know why he can't sleep in the empty state houses in town. Fuck him for being angry when he was told by his MP to stick around and wait out the system, and a month in the cold and it just got worse. Fuck him for getting trespassed from WINZ for whatever he yelled at, or threatened to the staff. Fuck him for just stewing about it, alone, not having anyone to talk to, long ago worn out his welcome.

    Fuck that murderer. Talking about him just doesn't respect the dead. Like it's ever anyone's fault but the criminal. Why didn't he just kill himself like all the rest?

    Since Nov 2006 • 608 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to tussock,

    Fuck that guy, right?

    Wrong.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle MacDonald, in reply to tussock,

    I assume your post is sarcastic to attempt to make a point, but I think you might've missed the point there...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    You raise a valid point of question! I am getting somewhat angry about how the media report on this horrible incident, and how MSD and WINZ, and especially their CEO and Minister are getting let off the hook. There are serious questions that deserve to be asked. The shooting did not happen just out of the blue, kind of, by some strange madman walking in, hungry just to see blood. Of course Tully is a murderer now, and committed a crime, and will be held accountable, and yes, the staff at the WINZ office at Ashburton, and that includes the two regrettable victims that died, and the person injured in hospital, deserve respect and so.

    BUT, why is NO media doing any serious investigation about what was all behind the incident? This man, the killer, he tried desperately to reach out, to seek help, his way, which some may have misunderstood. In Ashburton 25 complaints were made when he set up tent in the Domain. He moved on, was forced so by police, to the Ashburton River. He somehow did not find earlier accommodation suitable, and had an issue, that is Tully. I hear today there is talk of a "waiting list" for housing in Ashburton, where though some Housing NZ houses stood empty. As a single person Tully will have had second or third priority, as I know the system, but did anybody explain it to him?

    We hear of a "close knit society" there, and so forth, all sad and angry, and shocked, but a man, who grew up there, he was apparently isolated, left on his own, and then we hear Paula Bennett go on today, saying WINZ staff did ALL they could to help the man, yet he was trespassed last week.

    I see, read and hear endless unanswered questions, and again, my impression is, we have a government department and staff stonewall, justify and protect themselves, and one suspect, he is now singled out, as a "harasser", so he needed to be trespassed, as the "problem", and the "criminal", and all others were righteous and without any guilt.

    Honestly, I do not "buy" this, the system at WINZ has issues, they adopted welfare reforms that failed in the UK and killed many there, and now we are told, it is all just impossible to "comprehend" and "explain", while there were more incidents of threats and so today!

    For heaven's sake, does anybody dare to ask questions and dig into this, it smells damned suspicious to me. A crime was committed, yes someone commited it, but are all others totally "innocent"?

    No the system stinks, is unfair, is putting many under immense pressure, and Paula Bennett and this government have questions to answer.

    Thank you all for your time!

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to steven crawford,

    Yes it is over the top, but Tussock raises some questions, that are NOT being answered, as sadly the mainstream media chooses to just accept "official" comments by a Minister, a Chief Executive, and moves on. They did that with John Key for years, until suddenly "Dirty Politics" raised questions, and some still do not want to ask deserved questions.

    No it is bad language and the wrong angle that Tussock uses, but there are too many unanswered questions. And Paula Bennett now admitting Tully tried to contact her or the Ministry, and New Zealand First also admitting, he tried to contact them, but saying, the emails kind of never went back to Tully, this is NOT convincing.

    Too many are busy covering their backs, and they are abusing the fact of deaths of innocent front line WINZ staff to get off questions, making this all an emotive and twisted moral issue.

    I do not buy what goes on, the media must research and ask more questions, there is more behind all this, that must be exposed.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Marc C,

    Ms Benefit is at pains to ensure that her staff are not blamed. I don't think anyone is blaming them.
    Ms Benefit states clearly that Tully got everything he was entitled to and even turned down some offered "assistance".
    Ms Benefit is careful to avoid thinking or permitting anyone else to think that perhaps the assistance provided actually fell far far short of that which was needed.
    Seriously ill, out in the cold and desperate after days of deprivation and pain. With no prospect of improvement in sight. Do you know how your thinking would change if you were in this situation? It is terrible that a person is injured and two are dead. It is terrible that a man was failed to such an extent in a wealthy country.
    You are absolutely right, there is more behind all this and it should be exposed.
    It is not good enough to say he had all the help he was entitled to. IT WASN'T ENOUGH!

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Thank you Angela, I like to challenge also the PSA and Mr Wagstaff, to hold a meeting with all their unions' leaders at MSD, to discuss their working conditions, and what "feedback" they get from "clients", so they can establish a more realistic picture of what goes on at the frontline, which to some at least rather now seems to be a "war front line" at WINZ offices. I point out again, there were a few incidents today, and I know from first hand sources, there are MANY not happy and also angry with the "service" they now get under this government.

    It must be in the interest of the PSA and their members, to highlight this, to raise issues, and to take actions! When there are things very wrong in the system they are meant to work under, which can lead to such horrible consequences, they MUST take a stand and take action.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    I wonder, on this very topic, mental health funding, I just come across this, which was broadcast on Nine to Noon on Radio NZ National this very morning. Forgive me if someone else already posted it, because it seems very important to take note of:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/20148046/community-mental-health-providers-under-pressure

    This proves exactly what I commented on before, and it is also explaining something re the Ashburton incident, I fear, as we have many people in distress and need, but too few services, to actually step in and avoid breakdowns and harm!

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Here's a thought: What if there wasn't just one John Tully with a 12-gauge, but hundreds of John Tullys with 12-gauges? Would the Govt pause and listen, or would it do a Waco Siege?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz,

    Not an area that I have researched much but one that I have felt is important to us as a society. In Welly I don't often come across many homeless (and I don't automatically include the guys who sit with cardboard signs along Lambton Quay every now and then) but I do know there is a need for better services for them. I've supported the Downtown City Mission for a few years and had a few good chats with Stephanie McIntyre over the years. What I have learned is that mental health issues and addiction can easily lead into spiral which leads to homelessness and thence further health issues.

    The Labour Health policy, on the other hand, is quite detailed and health spokesperson the Hon. Annette King, who I heard speak recently, is clear that mental health is a priority for the Labour Party.

    So anyway, I went to the Wellington Central candidates meeting tonight and Grant Robertson was the only candidate to even mention mental health. I've actually seen him at some of the DCM events so it wasn't a surprise but yeah, it does seem to be a much higher priority for Labour than the other parties.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    It will be the Waco siege approach, for sure, and today the government sent such signals, as it will be about more security personnel, more police and more observation and controls. Beneficiaries are due to MSM indoctrination over many years viewed by not only the government, but also most in public, as not only a "burden", but as potential threats and undeserving "bludgers".

    What Tolley did did not help this, and what the reaction is, proves that WINZ will only make life a lot harder and more unbearable for the many they are meant to look after.

    NZ follows the UK in "reforms", and what is happening in the UK at present, with benefits being capped, and many forced out of their homes, to move to somewhere cheaper, that will come here also. They also force sick and disabled to look for work, and we have got that here now. Thanks to Bennett and National, many are frightened to see their doctor now, as WINZ and MSD even put pressure on GPs and as the same forces behind the UK reforms managed to influence the AFOEM and RACP and RNZCGP to follow medical and work ability assessment methods that are highly controversial, even scientifically not proved.

    It is all about cost cutting, and some "difficult" persons like Tully, they are just persons that WINZ has little time for, and will put into place. Sadly with him, he could not cope and went out of control, to cause a disaster.

    They (WINZ, government) are not looking at themselves, they lay blame at the clients, that cause problems, so it is an ongoing "warfare" instead of "welfare".

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Marc C,

    It is all about cost cutting, and some "difficult" persons like Tully, they are just persons that WINZ has little time for, and will put into place. Sadly with him, he could not cope and went out of control, to cause a disaster.

    They (WINZ, government) are not looking at themselves, they lay blame at the clients, that cause problems, so it is an ongoing "warfare" instead of "welfare".

    I have a sinking feeling that the fireballs of anger in Tottenham in 2011, and Ferguson this year won't be the last. And how many spree shooters in America were failed by the mental health system?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Marc C,

    social well fear...

    ...we have many people in distress and need, but too few services, to actually step in and avoid breakdowns and harm!

    I agree,
    the point of last resort has been shifted beyond many's endurance.
    Plans B thru Z don't exist,, or are unrealistic.

    Service provision has been thrust on charities or private enterprise.

    Government continues to patronisingly treat the symptoms, but not the causes as well, it seems...

    I got cold chills when I heard all the WINZ offices in the South Island were closed yesterday, that can't help anyone...
    ...Years ago I had this chilling 'image' spring to mind, vignetting the beginning of a major social upheaval in NZ - it was just a TV in a corner, sound off, showing a WINZ office burning, with a crowd gathering, their phones out...

    Maybe TV3 could show Sleeping Dogs soon
    - or would National see that as 'attack politics'?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle MacDonald,

    Hon. Tony Ryall's office finally got back to me. National's mental health policies can be viewed here...
    https://www.national.org.nz/docs/default-source/PDF/2014/policy/health_mental_health.pdf

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Marc C,

    They (WINZ, government) are not looking at themselves, they lay blame at the clients, that cause problems, so it is an ongoing "warfare" instead of "welfare".

    I expect the "defense" measures will also come out of the welfare budget. So the pressure on the most vulnerable people will only increase.

    It's interesting how many articles about Ferguson are starting to talk about how militarisation raises tensions rather than reducing them, and to prevent that sort of violence the authorities need to act non-violently.

    I can't imagine that using an intercom to discuss your homelessness and mental health issues with someone who's behind a bank-style barrier will help people feel that their needs are being addressed. Especially if the response is "we can only help you by providing this barrier and then we've run out of money".

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    Hon. Tony Ryall’s office finally got back to me. National’s mental health policies can be viewed here…

    More or less the same as Labour. It’s good to see the focus on young people.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle MacDonald, in reply to steven crawford,

    Two big differences:
    1. No ring-fenced funding
    2. No focus on NGO's and supporting/ funding their work

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    The other difference is Labour's attitude toward alcohol marketing, and domestic violence.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

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