Mike King needs to get his shit together | The Jackal

17 Jul 2021

Mike King needs to get his shit together

If there is one thing that we need more of in New Zealand, it’s good people who actually give a damn about preventing suicides.

That’s because despite a small reduction in 2020, our already incredibly high suicide rates have been getting even worse over recent years, which clearly points to a lack of adequate services and an increase of things that disproportionately effect those most at risk, like poverty and inequality.

However what we don’t need is people using their own failings to have a go at a Government who clearly cares about suicide prevention and is working hard to reduce those terrible statistics.

On Tuesday, Newshub reported:

Mike King lashes Jacinda Ardern over funding for Mongrel Mob rehab scheme but not Gumboot Friday

Mike King has hit out at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over funding a Mongrel Mob-run rehab programme, but not his charity Gumboot Friday. 

But King slammed the Prime Minister after his pleas for funding were turned down.

Last month, the Ministry of Health rejected funding for Gumboot Friday, which was founded by King and provides free counselling for young people. The ministry said Gumboot Friday's funding application was outside the timeframe for procurement, meaning it could not be funded. 

In a Facebook video posted on Monday night, King criticised the Prime Minister for giving the Mongrel Mob programme funding, but not his charity.

On Thursday, Newshub reported:

Mike King slams National for 'pretending' to care about Gumboot Friday, 'offensive meme'

Mental health campaigner Mike King has lashed out at the National Party, accusing them of 'pretending' to care about his charity Gumboot Friday. 

It comes after National MP Chris Bishop posted a meme on his Facebook page on Wednesday mocking Labour for funding a meth rehab but not King's charity. The meme was also shared by Simeon Brown. 


On Monday, King slammed the Prime Minister's choice to fund the meth programme but not his charity, despite missing the funding deadline.  

In a Facebook video, King said he didn't have an issue with the programme being given money, but he took issue with Ardern taking credit for it despite telling him she couldn't be involved in deciding whether his charity got money or not.

If King didn’t have a problem with the Government funding a Mongrel Mob run meth rehabilitation program, then why did he complain about it on Tuesday?

"When I asked you to have a conversation about it in the Koru Club, you looked me in the eye and you said, 'Mike I cannot get involved in this, we have a fair and equitable system and I cannot be involved in funding decisions'.

Even though they're related, a drug rehabilitation program obviously has different funding criteria than suicide prevention services. King must know this, which makes his complaint even more dumbfounding!

However what really makes me wonder if King has his heart in the right place and isn't simply using suicide as a political weapon here is that he never applied for funding in the first place.

Yesterday, Newshub reported:

Mike King addresses 'misinformation' about Gumboot Friday funding, says he never applied

Mike King is blasting the Ministry of Health for its "blatant lie" that the mental health advocate failed to get his funding application for Gumboot Friday in by the deadline - arguing that in fact, he never applied at all.

In a video posted to his Facebook on Friday, King addressed what he says is misinformation circulating around the funding of Gumboot Friday, and urged people not to believe it.

"The fact is, I have never applied for funding for Gumboot Friday - we have never put in an application and if you haven't put in an application, it can't be late."

This is no joke. Surely the comedian should have actually applied for funding before going on the news to complain about not receiving any? We wouldn’t then have numerous right wing propagandists jumping on the bandwagon to have a crack at Labour about Gumboot Friday missing out.

Now I don’t mean to join the pile on, but King really does need to get his shit together. Because this type of flakiness obviously doesn’t help anybody who might be considering suicide. They will be taking these types of complaints and the mainstream medias misinformation at face value, and may even believe that there’s no help available at all.

You've also got to wonder how exactly we're meant to have the conversation about suicide with such a large amount of blatant disinformation going on?

Notwithstanding what the right wing wants us to believe, the Labour led Government has in fact been working towards solutions to turn the tide. First they had an inquiry that resulted in the He Ara Oranga report, a suicide prevention action plan and a dedicated Suicide Prevention Office. They also established the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. Combine that with increased funding for mental health and addiction services and we should soon be seeing a gradual reduction in our world leading suicide statistics.

Sure, not much of that unprecedented $1.9 billion the Government allocated to support the mental wellbeing of New Zealanders has gone out the door (23% allocated with 6.6% spent to date), but this is light years ahead of anything National ever did under John Key.

So just take a deep breath there Mike King. Because if you don’t do the mahi and get your funding applications in on time, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.

Where to get help:

1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

thelowdown.co.nz – or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626

Anxiety New Zealand - 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825