The announcement today by the Nelson Marlborough DHB that services at Nikau House are to be retained has been applauded by Nelson MP Nick Smith.
“Today’s decision to retain Nikau House is fantastic news for Nelson. The closure proposal was not thought through and would have denied hundreds of vulnerable Nelsonians access to important services. We need more not less community based mental health services.
“I applaud Daniel Timms who bravely led the charge opposing the closure. Daniel openly shared his experience with mental health issues which have seen him in and out of hospitals throughout the country and multiple suicide attempts. His belief that Nikau House has been his life saver was the catalyst to inspire others to join the call. I also acknowledge the 4,500 Nelsonian who signed Daniel’s petition. I also commend Katrina Marwick, Josh Wilkinson and Frances Riley who cycled to Wellington to help those who have stood up and made their voices heard.
“I am pleased to have helped get this positive outcome by publicly releasing the leaked closure proposal, supporting the petition, organising a public meeting and securing National’s commitment to keep Nikau House open.
“Today’s decisions do involve changes from Nikau House to the Nikau Hauora Hub involve making the services more integrated with the DHB and more accessible to groups like Maori and youth. I am reassured there will be no loss of staff and see the potential to strengthen the Nikau model with the changes.
“The demand for mental health services is growing worldwide and is only going to get worse with unemployment and financial issues arising from Covid-19.
“I commend the DHB for listening and making the right decision to secure the future of Nikau House. We are holding a celebratory function at my office at 5pm tonight to thank all those who have helped retain this important community facility.”