National Party leader Bill English says the expected Government announcement of a mental health inquiry on Tuesday is a red herring for improvement in the area.
In 2017 it was revealed that suicide rates, particularly among youth, had risen for the third year in a row - and calls for change have only been getting louder.
But an exasperated Mr English told The AM Show on Tuesday morning that an inquiry isn't the answer - even going as far as saying inquiries "don't fix things".
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He also added that the predicted shutdown of the Better Public Services results, which was established to help deliver more bang for New Zealand's buck under tight financial constraints, would be a mistake.
"The Government's going to abolish those results - which is going to mean dumb, lazy public services - and start inquiries into how to improve them, instead of just focusing on doing a better job for people," Mr English said.
"With mental health services, I'm sure they will find they can be improved - but they're going to spend 12-18 months [carrying out the enquiry].
"In the meantime, there's people who need more help now to help them get off the benefit or deal with some kind of personal crisis.
"Instead, we're going to have a whole lot of bureaucrats running around, talking to each other."
The inquiry, which is one of the few outstanding items on the new Government's 100-day plan, has been described as a priority by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
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When asked why National never launched an inquiry into mental health services while it was in Government, Mr English had a simple answer: "Because inquiries don't fix things."
He said: "What we did was put in an extra $100 million, which was based on the evidence of what would have the most impact.
"The Government, if they're going to run this inquiry, I think are playing for time. They're actually short of cash to meet the expectations they've created.
"An inquiry will take them a year and might give them a bit more time to find the cash to do a bit more, maybe in 2020."