Te Hiringa Mahara brand story

Te Hiringa Mahara is kaitiaki of mental health and wellbeing in Aotearoa.

Our name is enduring and presents a challenge for us to live up to. It signifies positive energy, thoughtfulness, encouragement, confidence and strength.

Te Hiringa Mahara inspires and ignites our inquiring and inquisitive minds, illuminating and liberating the potential within. 

Te Hiringa Mahara - Te hinengaro tūmata tōrunga pai o te whakaaro nui - Igniting minds through positive energy and thoughtfulness.

Our vision: Tū tangata mauri ora - thriving together.

Our mission: Whakawāteatia e tātou he ara oranga - clearing pathways to wellbeing for all.

Our strategic framework brings the key elements of our strategic plan into one place. Our Pou Rama is standing strong, grounded in the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and shining bright on who we are, our areas of focus and what we do. It is supported by our vision, our mission and our values.

Click on the image below to view our brand story.

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Click on the image below to learn more about our brand identity.

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View our guiding documents

Te Hiringa Mahara brand launch event 2022

On Tuesday, 5 July 2022, we held an event to officially unveil our new name Te Hiringa Mahara.

Hayden Wano, Chair of Te Hiringa Mahara Board, Sharon Shae from our Expert Advisory Group, representatives from our creative partner agency, and Te Hiringa Mahara Chief Executive Karen Orsborn, spoke at the event.

Key Te Hiringa Mahara functions

System oversight
  • Promote alignment, collaboration, and communication between entities involved in mental health and wellbeing.
  • 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.
  • Look at how services and systems can improve the wellbeing of people living with mental distress and / or addiction, and their whānau.
  • Independently monitor and share findings on Aotearoa’s mental health, addiction and wellbeing systems.
  • Assess and report publicly on the mental health and wellbeing of people in New Zealand.
  • Assess and report publicly on the effectiveness, efficiency, and adequacy of approaches to mental health and wellbeing.
  • Listen to and work alongside people disproportionately experiencing inequity, including those with lived experience of mental distress or addiction, Māori, and other priority groups.
  • Amplify community voices and bring focus to opportunities where meaningful, long-term transformation can take place.
  • Advocate for the collective interests of people who experience mental distress or addiction (or both), and the people (including whānau) who support them.
  • Speak up and bring focus to areas that can have a significant positive impact on people’s lives and wellbeing.
  • Make recommendations to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and adequacy of approaches to mental health and wellbeing.

Te Hiringa Mahara is building on the roles of existing organisations that contribute to mental health and wellbeing by looking across the whole system.

Our focus spans all government and non-government contributors to mental health and wellbeing. This includes the health and disability, social welfare, housing, education, and justice sectors, as well as social determinants of health, such as housing, employment, poverty, social attitudes, and discrimination. It includes whether approaches to mental health and wellbeing are culturally appropriate.

Te Hiringa Mahara is guided by its values, grounding itself in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

You can see the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Act 2020 at the New Zealand Legislation website(external link).

Why we were established

In 2018, Government commissioned an independent inquiry into mental health and addiction in Aotearoa New Zealand. The inquiry brought together thousands of voices to paint a picture of the mental health and addictions landscape, giving life to He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction(external link)

He Ara Oranga set out 40 recommendations to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all people in New Zealand. 38 of these recommendations were accepted by Government in full, in principle, or agreed to further consideration.

Establishing an organisation with responsibility for mental health and wellbeing was one of the recommendations accepted by Government. On 9 February 2021, we opened our doors as an independent Crown entity, at arms-length from the government of the day.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission launch event April 2021

On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission held an event to acknowledge the establishment of the Commission, which officially opened its doors on Wednesday, 9 February 2021.

Hon Andrew Little, Minister of Health, Hayden Wano, Chair of the Commission Board, Dean Rangihuna, He Ara Oranga Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry Panel member, and former Mental Health Commissioner, Kevin Allan, spoke at the event.


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