The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission opened its doors on 9 February 2021. Establishing the Commission was one of the recommendations of He Ara Oranga, the Government inquiry into mental health and addiction.
The Commission's objective is to contribute to better and equitable mental health and wellbeing outcomes for people in New Zealand. It will perform an enduring role in transforming Aotearoa New Zealand's approach to mental health and wellbeing.
The Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission's progress report to the Minister of Health, Mā Te Rongo Ake (Through Listening and Hearing), was released on 5 March 2021. Read more about the report here. Mā Te Rongo Ake [PDF, 7.5 MB] assesses progress of the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga, the inquiry into mental health and addiction.
As part of its broader wellbeing role, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission has taken on the monitoring and advocacy function for mental health and addiction services from the outgoing Mental Health Commissioner at the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner(external link) (HDC).
HDC acts as an independent watchdog for people’s rights when using health and disability services and will continue to consider and assess people’s complaints relating to mental health and addiction services.
People who have concerns about the care they or others have experienced at a mental health or addiction service should still contact the Advocacy Service(external link) or make a complaint to the HDC(external link).
The Commission will provide system-level oversight of mental health and wellbeing and hold the Government of the day and other decision makers to account for the health and wellbeing of people in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The new Commission will work to make sure that all people living in Aotearoa New Zealand experience better mental health and wellbeing, and that everyone can fairly and equally access appropriate support.
It will also look at how services and systems can improve the wellbeing of people living with mental distress and / or addiction, and their whānau.