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We quickly learnt, from listening to the voices of people in prison, whānau, academics, community-based experts, our staff and partners that Hōkai Rangi - its direction, the change it is designed to bring about - should not just apply to Māori, but to everyone.
Today’s announcement is part of this Government’s commitment to tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand and to taking mental health seriously.
“We can’t keep judging someone by the worst mistake they’ve ever made - or there would be a hell of a lot more of us inside.”
Good morning everyone and thank you all for the warm welcome.
“I had never been hit or abused, until the day the men came to take me away. I still don’t even know why.”
That’s how Sam began to tell me his story at a marae in Whangarei.
Today I am announcing that we will build a world-leading 500 bed facility here at Waikeria alongside a 100 bed mental health unit that is the first of its kind in New Zealand.