Last week, or even the week before that, the National party of New Zealand released their budget on the world. Of the $2 billion they are handing out, $1 billion is going to defence alone. But no, that’s in it self is another topic. But seriously, One Billion New Zealand Dollars… To defence… I just can’t even. So moving right along, the thing that stood out to me most was the disparity between the budget for Climate Change and Mental Health.
Mental Health problems, by the Ministry’s own numbers, affect 160,000 people a year. Since this is the Ministry of Mental Health’s stats, and they need numbers to get more funding, we can, in all likelihood, say these numbers are inflated. But even for the sake of this argument, lets give them another 20,000 more people a year that they treat, or help, or medicate… So one hundred and eighty thousand people a year will be put through their system, in what ever that may mean. For this service they provide, the government has decreed that they should be given $224 million. I can understand, health care is expensive. This is only allocated to mental health, remember that. And apparently when a girl breaks up with her boyfriend, she needs, NEEDS, counseling according to the Mental Health defenders. 224 Million New Zealand Dollars, or over 2 billion South African Rand… By my very rough calculations that is 3.8% of the entire population of New Zealand.
In contrast, we have Climate Change. This issue will effect every single New Zealander, and even more people all over the globe. But since New Zealand is an island nation, we here are at more risk than say those that live in Nepal for instance. Studies have shown that for every dollar research gets, it returns about eight dollars to the economy. Climate change is also not done in a vacuum. All climate scientists around the word, all 97% of them that aren’t paid off by the big oil companies, work together and share research. Its not done alone. And money spent improving the renewable energy production is not wasted either. It has a knock on effect of the economy directly. People saving money on their electricity bill, spend it in their community for example. For this, this world wide issue, this issue that is going to effect 4.7 million New Zealanders and countless other people in every country, the Government has decided to allocate a paltry $4 million.
Today, of all days, it is up to the people to make a difference. Since the Government has come out and stated, by their actions, that the minority deserves more. More money. More attention. Oh, don’t mind the melting ice caps, the extinction of entire species, no don’t mind that, just have some pills and be happy. Oh is work too hard for you? Here is a councilor that you can tell how hard a 9 to 5 is. We understand.
I think Mental Health is important. But not $220 million more important than climate change.

Categories: Blog