New billboards have appeared in Dr Jonathan Coleman's Northcote electorate overnight - challenging the health minister over his decision to not launch a mental health inquiry.
The billboards look very similar to the minister's own campaign billboards with a picture of Coleman and accompanied by the words "77% of Kiwis want a mental health inquiry (But not me) - Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health".
Community campaign group ActionStation is responsible for the four large billboards, which are a response to Coleman dismissing the recommendations from The People's Mental Health Review which was released in April this year.
But Coleman has responded by saying it is that time in the election cycle and said he was standing by his decision not to review the mental health service.
Coleman said ensuring New Zealanders gained access to the right mental health services was an ongoing priority for the government and it would continue to invest in it.
"I have always expressed my deepest sympathy for New Zealander suffering from mental illness. I acknowledge the courage needed to talk about these deeply personal issues. Their stories are important to me as Minister of Health as they help shape the Government's policy decisions."
"The drivers of mental health and addition are complex, and there is no simple answer as to why across the world we are seeing increased demand. To help meet this increase in demand, the Government has increased mental health and addiction services funding from $1.1 billion in 2008/09 to over $1.4 billion for 2015/16.
"Budget 2017 invested $224 million into mental health services - I expect to have more to say on the details of the new initiatives being funded in the coming weeks. The Government doesn't agree there's a need for an inquiry."
However ActionStation co-director and report author Marianne Elliott said Coleman blatantly ignored the report's findings.
"Instead he dismissed the 500 people who submitted stories of their experience of the mental health system..."
She said the purpose of the billboards were to remind the minister that the majority of New Zealanders wanted an inquiry into the public mental health system.
"It's clear that our mental health system is currently under strain and desperately needs more funding. The Government's current hands-off approach isn't working. It's time the Minister is reminded of his responsibility to do more to save lives," Elliott said.
Elliott said they had not yet heard from Coleman's office, but conceded it was possible someone could try and take them down.
The figures used on the billboards come from an Independent poll conducted by Colmar Brunton for ONE News released in June.