Ardern’s Congress speech

Jacinda Ardern has given the key Saturday speech at Labour’s election year Congress, and has announced new policy on mental health.

Labour on Facebook:

And today, Jacinda Ardern has announced that we’ll deliver comprehensive health services to every state secondary school. These services have been shown to reduce the risk of suicide by two thirds.

We’ll make mental health an absolute priority.

It’s great to put more priority on dealing with mental health issues – in the shorter term this may put more pressure ion the Government to take more action.

But I question this claim: “These services have been shown to reduce the risk of suicide by two thirds”.  There’s no way of knowing in advance what degree of success it might have.

Ardern’s speech:

A curious personal intro to her speech by Ardern, trying to appeal to a social media audience.

Stuff reports: Labour promises a nurse in every secondary school

An emotional Jacinda Ardern has spoken about her grief at losing a childhood friend to suicide.

Speaking to Labour’s election year congress, Ardern put youth mental health on the political agenda, with a promise to place a nurse into every public secondary school.  Schools will also get the support of a GP.

“Evidence around existing services shows where students had more time with on-site professionals there was significantly less depression and suicide risk. Depression and suicide risk were up to two thirds lower in schools with comprehensive health services. Early intervention works.”

Ardern revealed that as a 13-year-old in Morrinsville, her best friend’s brother took his own life.

“I had just started high school and was waiting for class to start when I heard the news, I can remember exactly where I was standing, just outside the science block.

“I went straight to my friend’s home and spent the next few days with her as her and her family went through the unimaginable grief of losing their only boy, grief that was felt by everyone that knew him, and was captured in the handwritten notes and messages from his classmates that hung around the walls at his funeral. Every single thing about it seemed unfair and still does to this day.”

Ardern said school based health services were introduced by Labour in 2008  but were currently only funded directly for nurses in decile 1-3 public secondary schools, teen parent units and alternative education facilities.”

Under Saturday’s announcement, the average secondary school would have a full time nurse and also the support of a GP.

The cost would be around $40 million a year, funded out of Labour’s commitment to reverse National’s $1.7 billion of health cuts.

That doesn’t sound a lot in the whole scheme of things. The question to ask is whether it’s the most effective way to deal with a big problem.

Personal experiences can be a powerful driver of change that matters.

Full text: Jacinda Ardern: Labour Congress Speech


  1. Gezza

     /  May 14, 2017

    Ok, that was interesting. What on earth was having every highly visible Labour banner having the word Labour appearing backwards and in mirror writing about?

  2. PDB

     /  May 14, 2017

    God, she gives Little a run on the boring & uninspiring stakes……..

    • Gezza

       /  May 14, 2017

      Once she got into it t she spoke well & if it was teleprompted it didn’t look like it. It’s an important topic & she injected genuine emotion into it. But I’m not sure it showed anything much of her abilities as a Deputy Leader. And while she’s obviously pitching to the selfie generation I’m not really convinced that all the preliminary twittering on will pull them in. She’s just a little bit long in the tooth to be pulling off the excited young thing gig.

      • PDB

         /  May 14, 2017

        One-trick-pony – the ‘shucks, I’m just a girl from the Waikato who wants to help the children’ can only get you so far in politics.

        • Gezza

           /  May 14, 2017

          Yes, I think that is going to be a problem for her. It’s also going to “clang” with parents because she has no children. She’s going to need to branch out in the subjects she speaks about to get any traction, imo.