Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller is welcoming of the Government’s $8.4 million announcement to help care for high needs, vulnerable New Zealanders – but would like to see more being done for the Bay.
“As our community continues to rapidly grow, so too does the pressure on these services,” says Todd.
“Our community must receive more funding for our local mental health and addiction service providers to ensure the support is available for those who need it the most.
“The feedback I am receiving from some of our local schools is that we need to be reducing the time it takes for families with children struggling with mental health issues like anxiety and depression to access a psychologist.
“It’s significantly impacting the child’s ability to engage in education, putting pressure on parents, and could have real long lasting impacts on these kids,” says Todd.
“We also have a real need for a specialised pre and post treatment facility in Tauranga for those who are struggling with substance abuse.
“The Peoples Project are doing a fantastic job in our community, working on housing our vulnerable rough sleepers, many of which suffer from significant mental illness and addiction, but more government investment is needed here in the Bay.
“I have met some of our mental health and addiction providers, and while their efforts are exemplary, more investment in our community is required. What I would like to see is a residential care facility for those with alcohol and substance addictions similar to what other communities around the country have – similar to Higher Ground in Auckland.
“The Government needs to realise that Tauranga isn’t the city it was in the 1980’s anymore. It’s fast growing with associated complex human needs that have to be addressed,” he concluded.