Mixed bag; wait for mental health details

Corstorphine household (from left) Gail Kyle, Jamie Hellyer, Reid Sunderland (16), Jacqui Hellyer...
Corstorphine household (from left) Gail Kyle, Jamie Hellyer, Reid Sunderland (16), Jacqui Hellyer and Thalia Sunderland (19). PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
A Dunedin family with experience of support services for the intellectually disabled and mentally ill says the mental health announcement was one of the pluses of the 2019 Budget.

However, on the whole, Corstorphine mother-of-two Jacqui Hellyer, her husband, Jamie, and Mrs Hellyer's mother, Gail Kyle, felt this year's Budget was a mixed bag.


It was disappointing extra public money had not been allocated to better dental care or teachers' pay, and that the minimum wage was not lifted.

They were delighted by the $1.9billion mental health package, and were waiting for details on how the money gets applied.

With a 19-year-old who had intellectual disabilities and who recently left school, the Hellyers were painfully aware of the dearth of services for adults with impairments. She would have liked that addressed.

"There's not that help in the community for those ones. [I wonder] what's going to happen to her when I'm gone,'' Mrs Hellyer said.

Mrs Hellyer, a carer, and Mr Hellyer, a bus driver, already had to work hard to match what they would get on the benefit. It was disappointing the benefit would rise without a corresponding minimum wage boost, Mrs Hellyer said.

She was very pleased decile 1 to 7 schools would no longer ask for donations from parents, and the $70 NCEA fee would go.



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