The Health Minister has slammed the controversial Mothers Matter TV ad aimed at highlighting the lack of resources for parents with postnatal depression saying it is not a true representation of maternal mental health resources.
The harrowing three-minute video showed a struggling pregnant woman taking her own life was this week banned from television viewing by the Advertising Standards Authority due to concerns it was going to cause harm.
But Minister of Health Andrew Little said along with the video's confronting content, the video was a poor representation of the resources this Government has put into mental health services and clearly part of a National Party policy announcement.
Labour's commitment to maternal care was reflected in the additional funding of $242 million over four years in the 2020 Budget, he said.
"This is in addition to other programmes including the Tiaki Whānau pilot that has started in Rotorua, that provides intensive support for mothers in vulnerable situations - for example in households where there has been an incidence of family violence or addiction issues."
Little also pointed to a $7m investment over four years in pregnancy and parenting services to provide support where the mother is addressing substance abuse issues.
"Postnatal support is available across every DHB alongside other community resources including the Triple P Parenting Program.
"I would urge those in need of or seeking support to talk to family, their GP, or lead maternity carer in the first instance, or if that is not an option to contact one of our many helplines."
Little first saw the video when it was launched at the Mothers Matter Breakfast earlier this month, but said it was not disclosed to him at the time it was going to be used in a public advertising campaign. He had not received any invitations to meet with the lobby group since then.
Act MP David Seymour yesterday told the Herald he disagreed with the ad being banned saying it raised a matter of critical importance which both the Government and now the ASA were ignoring.