The Lakes and Bay of Plenty District Health Boards have welcomed billions of dollars allocated to the health sector in Budget 2019.

Overall, $1.7 billion has been allocated to upgrading hospital buildings, $170 million for DHBs to respond to growing service demands (on top of the $1.9b over five years for mental health), as well as $460m for disability support services, $40m for Pharmac, and $47m to promote healthy eating and physical activity in schools.

Closely related to health outcomes was the $1.1b investment into Oranga Tamariki, and the inclusion of a Child Poverty Report.

Lakes DHB chairman Deryck Shaw said the focus on child poverty was critical as the Lakes DHB had the third most deprived population in the country.

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"The key focus areas of wellbeing, underpinned by mental health and working to turn around child poverty, are all important."

He felt the funding for mental health was particularly relevant to the Lakes DHB, which is currently developing a business case for a new mental health inpatient building, and a new model of care for mental health and addiction.

"This year's focus on social sector integration around the Budget announcements is welcome, given our DHB's work across Government agencies in recent years."

Bay of Plenty District Health Board chairwoman Sally Webb said the money towards preventing childhood obesity and supporting people with disabilities was "great".

Bay of Plenty DHB chairwoman Sally Webb. Photo / File
Bay of Plenty DHB chairwoman Sally Webb. Photo / File

"The funding to support addiction services is also well-needed."

She said it was far too early to tell what the announcements would really mean for people in the DHB.

"In any case, it will always be well utilised."

Western Bay of Plenty Disability Support Trust co-ordinator Wendy Neilson said: "I feel when I listen to the actual depth of analysis, it sounds great on the surface but in depth, it's not meeting the immediate needs."

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Wendy Neilson works closely with people with disabilities in the Bay of Plenty. Photo / File
Wendy Neilson works closely with people with disabilities in the Bay of Plenty. Photo / File

"I don't think it's going to change as much as I hoped it would. Often the Budget is full of promise but it is thinned over everyone, and it is some time before we see the money on the ground.

"The thing is, people want immediate change and support. We all want a better world, for a marginalised community, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next 18 months before the next election."