46 Comments
May 24Liked by Nick Rockel

Gumboot Friday is a flawed and dangerous model. Only two sessions are funded and young people can chose a counsellor from a list for those two sessions (and counsellor can charge what they want). Counsellor need not have, and probably won't have, any specialist skills with young people. Two sessions not enough to build a relationship, trust or even start to deal with trauma. But young person has to pay for any future sessions at market rate. Can apply for extra paid sessions but that requires lots of confidential information about young person being given to some GBF management. Mike King not known for ethical use of info about young people, and readily uses personal information in his PR. Model is a huge risk to young people and counsellors. Impact Lab assessment is all about data and takes no account of real people or needs, so would not understand how risky it is to just fund two sessions and then stop.

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Someone has investigated and found that only about 50% of GBF funding goes to counselling. So some people in the organisation are doing very well.

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Thanks Hilary, this is as I thought but didn't have the actual evidence

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Great info thank you.

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Ibhasn't heard that information about the Gumboot model. I have been concerned about it because of the lack of specifics about the "counsellers" andhow they work.

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It is basically a website of counsellors. They have to have some kind of qualification (but no particular young people skills) and belong to a professional association. Young people just chose one they like the look of. Seems to be very little oversight or accountability. Most experienced counsellors have long waiting lists but many of the ones on the GBF site are seem to be available immediately.

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Thanks for the information Hilary.It's the availability of these "counsellors" that I have wondered about because from my experience most s. counsellors do have waiting lists.You are right to point out that no specific skills, and experience of working with children, and teens is required amongst that group of 'counsellors", and that is a concern. Working with parents, and families can be crucial for working with many young people, and Family Therapy skills, and training underpin this.

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They are likely to be new graduates who haven't yet got fulltime work or those who might be between jobs or less popular for some reason. Of course with the economic downturn many counsellors are likely to lose jobs with schools, government agencies, medical practices or NGOs so the list of available counsellors might grow.

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May 23·edited May 23Liked by Nick Rockel

The thing that really gets me is that there has been no evaluation by this government about which mental health programmes for children are based on proven therapeutic approaches and have shown long term results for kids. Maybe Mike King's organisation has this evidence at hand but so do other programmes that also weave parents into the work they're doing with the kids and include a broader community approach. I haven't quantitatively researched which organisations get the most sustained results and I'm damn sure the government doesn't have this information either (given how the process went, as described by Mike King on RNZ this morning - it was NOT robust). Programmes like Brainwave Aotearoa Trust and Mitey are two that come to mind that would have much more effective long term results.

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author

As Tim commented, the metrics available are from Bill English's group.

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May 23Liked by Nick Rockel

You certainly do not harp on about this too much. It needs to be said, and re-said, on the off chance that some filters through to the ZB audience.

This government is not even slightly subtle with its rewards for donators. It constantly slithers along, nudging the corruption borderline.

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"It constantly slithers along, nudging the corruption borderline." Nicely put Mark!! Well, Luxon was a typical ass-licking CEO of a corporation, and that is exactly what corporations do as a matter of course in this post-modern post-moral post-truth Neoliberal world.

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I saw a reposted interview with Matt Doocey on Q & A where he claimed Gumboot Friday has 400 “mental health professionals” working for them. According to media releases, the funding will increase the “current contracted counsellor pool from 555 to about 855”. What is a contracted counsellor? Are they qualified? How and what are they paid? How are standards monitored? How many hours are they contracted for? How are they vetted? Can I be one? (just joking).

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All great questions. What the general public may also not be aware is that EVERY secondary school has at least one qualified councellorthat has to be a member of the NZAC that has been providing exactly this sort of expert care since ......forever! But as always with this and other National governments it will fund private interests, whils starving public ones of funding!

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Just a little insight into your good questions. I wonder how much vetting went on prior to allocation of the funding, Prior to retirement in 2020 i worked in the area of MH and addictions at NGO level primarily in the community but in close alliance with Government MH services. I have a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences major Social Work also a Post grad diploma in MH and addicitons and clinical supervision which allowed for registration to relevant bodies either SW of counselling a requirement for working in the sector either NGO or Govt as a SW or counselor at a clinical level. Within that set up there would also be other support staff, just as vital in their role of supporting the work alongside clinical staff. We know the level of Doocey's IQ and I wonder whether those figures accurately portray the numbers of clinically qualified practioners, I suspect they probably don't.

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Just add that the baseline for registration for SW to SWRB is a Bachelors in SW.

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Very good questions, Darien. Too bad we do not have a journalistic source or group in this country anymore that makes it their business to answer those kinds of questions...

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I share yourconcerns, and your questions. And the more Mike King et al gobble up, the less funding goes into public Mental Health Services.

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May 23Liked by Nick Rockel

The government needs to provide details on what basis it awarded this amount to this organisation and how it arrived at the amount, which Mike King said several times on RNZ, this morning was not applied for.

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Yep, you would expect that someone tendering for public funding would follow an RFP process, like everyone else.

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May 24Liked by Nick Rockel

It's a red herring. The purpose of the $24m grant is to establish the bypass of normal procurement with an unassailable start, thereby legitimising it.. It's a clever test case for privatisation.

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Yes indeed. That is exactly what I think. It is very concerning.

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Yes, evidence based research, to eliminate cronyism.

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Good read. I don't give one of these Mikes any air time or real estate in my head......the one that nearly rhymes with 'tosser'. The other Mike, that rhymes with 'ka ching', I did have a huge amount of time for, but after watching several events at the end of tours, and with a huge whanau entourage..........despite the great message, the topical message in our society.......I found myself smelling a few rats about the ole 'king'.

Sure the guy has heart and I fully acknowledge that.....but gravy trains and good causes and moolah....can distort people, it can make you fat. Look how some politicians put on weight down in the welly wood world. So popularity can soften and distort visions, and money is nice when you like pork.

I fully acknowledge that I could be very very wrong. I saw him marching with Tama Iti at Waitangi, and I love Tama, but Mike ka ching resonates differently for me.

Apart from what you point out here with the nat connections and donations......and Ian Taylor and the sticking it to the last government historical presenses in I Am Hope................I was a tad suss when on the news King launched into a diatribe about transparency and accountability and the disclaimers around invoicing by counsellors etc.................like why? To counteract what people might be thinking for a variety of reasons, both legitimate and illegitimately? Re stigmas and prejudice? I would like to see the evidence for the stats around counsellors and interactions, training et al. Especially with bashing teachers about science and maths. I can see all the brilliant connectors maybe not that good at maths or science but great at motivating and connecting...learning is based on such teacher capacities. (and having full stomachs ...Seyless don't know that is the connection to why it's done)

So where's the data to justify the money, ka ching. I am not bashing the organisation......just the hypocracy you have pointed out Nick. I smell a rat, or I smell bacon, pork barrell styles.

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Yes, robust performance review please.

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May 23Liked by Nick Rockel

This is weird. This government has shut down its Suicide Prevention Office, which had Professionals, eg, PHDs etc and are nation wide and then pasted it on to Gum Boot Friday. Was Peters one of Suicide Prevention Office's clients?

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Because it's a cheaper, albiet far less qualified agency!

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Don't get me started!!!!

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May 24Liked by Nick Rockel

I have close ties to a different (high-profile) mental health organisation that also works in schools (albeit more in the 'fence at the top' education space, rather than the 'ambulance at the bottom' counselling). As you might imagine, one of the things they always struggle with is, how to tangibly measure the value of mental health... I was interested then, that Bill English's consulting firm has (yet again!) managed to apparently come up with an ROI formula, demonstrating a precise $5.70 : $1 return on the Gumboot Friday 'investment'... I'd just love to get hold of that impressive (and obviously credible!) formula, because it would super help with our own fundraising!

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May 24Liked by Nick Rockel

Ingrid Leary summed it up very well. It's money for mates and privatisation by deceit.

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May 24·edited May 24Liked by Nick Rockel

Such a brilliant korero Nick...AGAIN! I've never warmed to the Mike whose name I will utter. I think he's a well meaning person who has been given an accolade that is of questionable merit. He is steeped in donkey do in recent times over political allegiances which as a charity organization should be non partisan. The return of his queens service award was a peurile act to trash the Labour government. His bollocks yesterday saying every cent goes to councelling kids in the face of such huge donations by CEO's of Gumboot Friday to The National Party, calls any utterances he makes into question, as does the Faberge Eggs leaping to double down on any suspicion of cronyism regarding the money given by the government without being asked for. As fir the other cretin whose name will never be mentioned.....two mentions by your koreros in recent times????!!!!! Arrrrghhhhh! Might have to block your column! (Only kidding, keep up the good work sir!)

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May 23Liked by Nick Rockel

Well, there Mike be another side to these stories… As an aside I really really really wish RNZ was even slightly socialist radio!

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Thanks. I think the difference is in whether they are qualified or not, and/or a member of a professional body that requires standards. The law requires neither and anyone can call themselves a counsellor. Worrying when we are talking about vulnerable youth in this case and dishing out money to a National fave.

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Just another example of the corrupt practices that this Govt has undertaken since it came into office. The rewards to donors has become almost a daily occurrence with Shame Jones front and centre. The MSM would have been all over this if the left had been in power.

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May 24Liked by Nick Rockel

I never listen to what MH has to say cos he's a lowlife, but the sway media such as his outfit, and others such as Murdoch have without fact-checking channels undermines democracy in a big way. I am nostalgic for a primetime Friday night TV programme back in the day where the media's treatment of the weeks Current affairs was put under the spotlight by Brian Priestly from the Canterbury school of Journalism: Fourth estate

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May 24Liked by Nick Rockel

Well I can’t believe the coalition government couldn’t see there will be a great deal of comment from the way this funding happened. It’s amazingly obviously pay-back time!

On the other hand, I think any way we can get more funds to help with mental health, the better. With mental health issues, one size doesn’t fit all and the more avenues to help people the better.

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May 24Liked by Nick Rockel

I just want to know where Mike King has got all these counsellors from. One of the issues in providing Mental Health Services has been not enough trained professionals. He apparently has hundreds at his disposal. I have said it before and I'll repeat it now, if he has access to hundreds of trained counsellors why has he not encouraged those counsellors to apply for positions within Mental Health Services so that the waiting lists can be shortened and young people in need can get help., So who are these people, what is their training, and to whom are they accountable.? I am aware that there are different ways ways, and levels ofproviding support, and counselling services. I began in a comunityborganisation where the emphasis was on support. I quickly found that I needed better education, and understanding of mental health issues , so I made an effort to improve my knowledge, and my skills without losing ability to relate to different people.

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