[ Skip to main content ]

2019 Budget set to deliver

1 July 2019

MoS july 2019 budget clark and adern

The Wellbeing Budget released on 30 May 2019 is set to be a game-changer. Access to addiction treatment will significantly improve with a mix of new services and support for existing ones. It will take time to implement, but in the meantime – we can celebrate this significant victory!

Budget 2019’s top focus was mental health and addictions. Investment of $1.9 billion over the next four years has been allocated. Importantly, new investment will cover those who are just starting to struggle with their mental health or drug use, as well as those with more serious problems. No longer will loved ones have to wait until their problems are out of control before they can access help.

The proposed investment is comprehensive and aims at addressing the root causes. There will be more money for mental health and addiction care in schools, in primary health care, in existing treatment centres, in hospital emergency rooms and in prisons.

Some of the highlights include:

  • A plan to get 5,000 people a year early support through primary care
  • (such as GP surgeries) for alcohol
  • and drug issues.
  • Access to a range of free services that support and maintain mental wellbeing for every New Zealander who needs it, within five years.
  • $213.1 million of total DHB funding ring-fenced to enhance mental health and addiction services.
  • $44 million over four years to improve existing drug addiction services.
  • Nurses in schools to reach a further 5,600 students.
  • $197 million for Housing First, aiming to bring 2,700 vulnerable people into permanent homes.
  • $128.3 million over four years for mental health and addiction services in our Corrections system.
  • $8 million over four years to improve responses for those who turn up at hospital emergency departments needing mental health support.

$1.9 billion

invested over the next four years for mental health and addictions

The Wellbeing Budget is really great news for those struggling with addictions and their whānau. It also represents a significant milestone and victory for the Health Not Handcuffs movement.

Now we just need to make sure it’s all put in place as quickly as possible. Realistically it will take a while before every doctor’s practice can include a staff member trained in mental health.

We’ll need to keep the pressure on government to keep them honest and make sure the money is used as efficiently as possible. We also need to make sure enough funding goes to kaupapa Māori approaches to reduce inequities for Māori.

  • Main image photo credit: NZ Herald/Mark Mitchell
Share this article:

Related See more

Chilliwack times Naloxone Training Session Family Friends Chilliwack 2 640x425

Overdose prevention: A walk in the park?

Free naloxone kits, fee training, oranges to practice on – and a barbecue lunch. That's how they do overdose prevention in British Columbia.

2021 symposium thumbnail

Through the Maze: On the road to health Symposium

2021 Parliamentary Symposium: Towards a health-based approach to drug policy and practice.

mos nov 2018 synthetics image2

Preparing for another synthetic cannabinoids spike

Spikes in synthetic cannabinoids harm can happen at any time, and we continue to see incidents that leave in their wake a trail of casualtie...

SoTN thumbnail

Demand for treatment outstrips supply, as Kiwis continue to be convicted for minor drug offences

The Drug Foundation's annual State of the Nation report highlights increasing demand for treatment and impacts of 2019 law change.

Back to top