The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE -

The big­gest chal­lenges are home­less­ness, jobs, ‘‘P’’, sex­ual and fam­ily vi­o­lence and health. We re­cently launched a Maori hous­ing pol­icy which ac­knowl­edges that home is where the heart is. And with­out a warm, safe, dry place, life is sim­ply harder. Labour’s vi­sion is that Maori en­joy an equal play­ing field and have the same home own­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties as non-Maori. Another big challenge fac­ing fam­i­lies in the Far North is men­tal health. Labour’s prom­ise of a pilot scheme of spe­cial­ist men­tal health teams across the coun­try is much needed in the north. This will help 40,000 peo­ple a year at a cost of $43 mil­lion. Also we are go­ing to help stu­dents by pro­vid­ing school teams with men­tal health spe­cial­ists. Labour is ded­i­cated to rais­ing ran­gatahi achieve­ment so we cre­ate strong healthy future gen­er­a­tions. Labour will ad­dress the rapid de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of New Zealand’s men­tal health sys­tem and ad­dress the ris­ing sui­cide sta­tis­tics which have had a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on our peo­ple in the North. Sex­ual and fam­ily vi­o­lence are key drivers of men­tal health prob­lems, drug and al­co­hol abuse and youth sui­cide. I have cam­paigned to raise aware­ness around these is­sues and in the last three years have walked the equiv­a­lent of 20 marathons for the cause. We will start a re­view of men­tal health in our first 100 days. Labour will also in­tro­duce three free years of post-se­condary education for the Far North.



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