The National Party has continued its slow drip of information this afternoon, claiming it has details about spending on mental health, a much-anticipated cornerstone of the Government's Wellbeing Budget.

"The Government will fund a Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission as part of Budget 2019," Opposition leader Simon Bridges said.

"In addition to what we've already released today, The National Party can now reveal the details about spending on mental health ...", he said in a statement.

The Herald has asked National for those details. In its earlier releases of information today, which National said were details of Budget 2019, the party released overviews of what each area would receive.

Bridges said a Mental Health and Wellbeing Bill would be introduced very soon as a category two piece of legislation, meaning it must be passed this year.

"We know this because the Government's 2019 Legislation Programme was leaked to National," Bridges said.


The Government will tomorrow respond to the Report of the Government Inquiry to Mental Health and Addiction and on Thursday will announce through the Budget how the changes will be funded.

READ: New Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission likely to be announced

A revamped mental health and wellbeing commission is expected to be the centrepiece of the response to the mental health crisis and has been well-flagged by the Government.

It is a condition contained within the Labour-New Zealand First coalition agreement and was part of Ardern's 2017 Speech from the Throne.

There has been no standalone mental health agency since the time-limited Mental Health Commission was disestablished three years early by the former National government in 2012 and its functions subsumed into the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner.

The long-awaited Report of the Government Inquiry to Mental Health and Addiction, the most comprehensive report into the area since the 1996 Mason report, warned of a "rising tide of mental distress and addiction" in New Zealand.

Released in December, it made 40 recommendations, including the establishment of a suicide reduction target.

The Mental Health Commissioner has been involved in discussions with the Ministry of Health about the changes required for a smooth transition to a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.