Newshub-Reid Research poll: New Zealanders want Government to subsidise dental care to make it cheaper for adults

The Government has revealed mental health is getting an extra $190 million in the Budget focused on crisis, community and school services.

But Newshub's latest poll shows Kiwis want the Government to spend more in another area of health as well: dental care.

Raewyn Love lives with a deep irony - she's a dental assistant who can't afford to go to the dentist.

"I guess I'm one of those people who is also putting it off and looking for the deals here and there," she said.

She sees what happens when people can't afford a checkup.

"These people get to the point where they are just in agony."

Health Minister Andrew Little said New Zealand supports people with their dental care up to the age of 18.

"What happens after that, I think there is a lot of room for improvement," he told Newshub

Newshub can reveal New Zealanders also think there's a lot of improvement. In the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll we asked do you think the Government should subsidise dental care to make it cheaper for adults to go to the dentist?

The results show 83.7 percent of people said yes, make it cheaper, while 11.9 percent said no.

"It's an area we need to give attention to at some point," said Little. 

That's a hint a dental deal is on the horizon, but in the 2020 election campaign, Labour promised $176 million for more emergency dental grants.

Little doesn't believe Labour has broken that promise. 

"No. It remains our election commitment and our election commitments last through until the next election," he said.

One to watch for in this Budget or the next, but the minister on Tuesday did reveal something in Thursday's Budget - a $100 million mental health fund.

It will include $27 million for community crisis services, more than $18 million so about 1300 more young people can access specialist services, and $10m to build workforce capability and capacity, and there'll be more to come on Thursday.

"We need to do more for young people who need mental health specialist services," said Little. 

There's also a separate $90 million to extend the Mana Ake mental health programme for school children beyond Canterbury.

"I think we'll start to see this being rolled out towards the end of the year and it will grow year by year from there."

National's Christopher Luxon say it's "lovely" and "wonderful".

"It's needed but the question is these guys are struggling to get things done in this country."

Finance Minister Grant Robertson's chuffed with the Budget's front page cover picture - which he took himself. 

"My alternative career as a photographer is burgeoning," he said. 

But in his current, very important, career as the Finance Minister, he's not giving anything away about what's inside.

"It unfortunately is not this year's Budget, so there's no secrets for you here."

Just two sleeps to go until Budget day.