Steven Joyce says suicide rates not Government's fault

Finance Minister Steve Joyce has appeared on Three's The Project to defend the Government's health budget.

Mr Joyce has been criticised for failing to do enough to tackle New Zealand's suicide rates.

"Two teenagers are killing themselves every week. It sounds like you're not getting the message that our suicide rates are unacceptable," said host Kanoa Lloyd.

However, Mr Joyce said the Government wasn't the problem.

"Suicide rates are unacceptable, but ultimately they're not the Government's - you know, the Government hasn't caused that. The Government helps, and the way we help with that is quite a, frankly, a big investment in mental health service," he said.

"We've also got to do some things differently. And that's why we've set it up the way we have. With a fund. Which is about doing innovative more different things in the mental health area."

Newshub.

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