Mike King’s youth mental health charity Gumboot Friday will receive $6 million annually as a result of today’s three-party government coalition agreement.
King posted on Facebook today that the funding relieves such a heavy burden and “enables us to maintain our promise to continue providing our fast and effective free counselling”.
“I’ll admit there have been some happy tears today,” he said.
King thanked the government for “pushing bureaucracy and any personal feelings aside” and thinking of children.
“Thank you to the team who work beside me, tirelessly behind the scenes, and who believe in the vision of a better future for our children,” he said.
“With all that is going on in the world here is a glimmer of hope for our children and for that I am beyond grateful.
“All the team at @gumbootfriday and @iamhope_nz are grateful and today our hearts are full.”
While on the campaign trail, incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon promised King $5m on the Rock Breakfast show.
Gumboot Friday, founded by the comedian and mental health advocate, is a free counselling service for any person in New Zealand aged 25 and under.
King said demand for Gumboot Friday services has skyrocketed by more than 500 per cent in just two years.
“From financing 550 monthly sessions in 2021 at $78,000, we now fund over 3400 free sessions at $510,000 monthly,” he said.