A beleaguered Mike King says he's "really disappointed" by the $943,000 raised during June's Gumboot Friday appeal - a total he says the mental health service will churn through in just three months.
In a video posted to Facebook on Thursday, the former comedian announced he plans to host a second Gumboot Friday event in November should his post get 50,000 shares, which he believes would prove there's enough buy-in from Kiwis to make it worthwhile.
The video comes just weeks after King returned the NZ Order of Merit medal he was awarded in 2019 for services to mental health awareness and suicide prevention, citing a lack of progress in these areas.
It also comes after repeated criticisms of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Ministry of Health over a lack of investment in mental health services and for rejecting Gumboot Friday's plea for funding to provide free counselling for young people.
In Thursday's post, a demoralised King announced last month's Gumboot Friday event had raised $943,000 - an amount some might consider "a great effort", but one he found "disappointing".
"I was really disappointed when I discovered how much we'd actually made, because I truly believe we may have created a bigger problem by raising people's expectations that the help's going to be there," he explained.
"The reality is in three months' time, that money is going to be gone… on the growth we've got from Gumboot Friday, we've only got about three months of funding left."
He again took issue with New Zealand's "beautiful Prime Minister and wonderful Ministry of Health" for refusing to fund the initiative - but said "throwing shit at the Government" would ultimately get the charity nowhere.
Instead, he said Gumboot Friday would look to raise the money itself by hosting a second Gumboot Friday appeal on November 5 - but only if his Facebook video gets to 50,000 shares.
"There's no Guy Fawkes this year, so let's call it 'Gumboot Friday with a bang'. But before I go about organising this, I really need to know if there's any will by you people watching to make this happen," he said.
"Because God's honest truth is I'm tired. My team is tired, my family never gets to see me and we all feel like we're swimming up the creek against the tide. Everyone's yelling from the sidelines 'go, go, go' but no one's actually jumping in and helping."
He said getting to 50,000 shares would prove there's enough buy-in from Kiwis to push ahead for a second Gumboot Friday appeal this year.
"If you don't share it, I don't think I can carry on. We'll carry on doing our best, but we couldn't organise this again. It really is hard, hard work.
"So if you really care for our kids, don't sit there on the sidelines... I need you jumping in the trenches with me. I need everyone to get involved and get in behind Gumboot Friday and support our kids.
"This isn't about me, this isn't about the MoH, this isn't about the Prime Minister - this is about our kids. Do you wanna help our kids, or do you just wanna sit around and watch the wind blow?"
King's rejection for funding came just after a Newshub report revealed that despite the Government's applauded mental health investment in 2019, just five extra acute beds have been added over almost two years.
In a statement, MoH sector support and infrastructure deputy chief executive Robyn Shearer confirmed the ministry was unable to fund Gumboot Friday, nor any other charity or service at this time.
"The application from Gumboot Friday representatives was unfortunately sent outside the planned procurement processes. Procurement rules are designed to make sure there is a transparent, fair and equitable process, and to make sure there can be robust evaluation of applications."