Annual Report 2022/23 highlights

Te Hiringa Mahara Chief Executive Karen Orsborn shares highlights from our 2022-23 Annual Report.

In our second full year we have ramped up our efforts as kaitiaki of mental health and wellbeing in Aotearoa. In this short note I am sharing some of the highlights from the 2022-23 year, with our full annual report available for download.   

A big emphasis in the last year has been on solidifying our monitoring approach and laying the foundation for our advocacy. We published Te Huringa Tuarua, a detailed report on services, along with four insights papers exploring youth services, kaupapa Māori services, compulsory community treatment orders and the peer support workforce. A dashboard has been developed to ensure data is more easily accessible See: www.mwhc.govt.nz/dashboard  

Taking stock of the lessons we can take from the COVID-19 pandemic response was a focus for our wellbeing kaupapa. We published an 8-part COVID-19 insights series. Amongst areas of focus were insights for rural communities, Pacific peoples and older people.  

These reports, and along with those published earlier, were downloaded 13,800 times over the course of the year.  

We are proud of the work we have done to highlight what is important for the wellbeing of rangatahi and young people in Aotearoa. By drawing on what rangatahi and young people have shared with us and a review of literature we identified four major themes that need action to improve wellbeing. At the heart of this kaupapa is the importance of rangatahi and young people having a voice and being part of decision-making about services that impacts them. 

To ensure we understand what is happening across the mental health, addiction and wellbeing systems, we engage with a wide range of people. As we work to fulfil our responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, we have established relationships with mana whenua, including Te Ati Awa, Taranaki Whānui and Ngāti Toa Rangatira.  

Over the course of the year, we had 373 engagements with priority populations, with a focus on rangatahi and young people, and other populations who experience disadvantage. Having strong relationships with communities is important for our collective kaupapa. We conducted our first stakeholder engagement survey to better understand their experiences engaging with us. In this survey, 70% of participants said they agree or strongly agree that we are being courageous and speaking up about important mental health, addiction, and wellbeing issues. This is heartening and we plan to build on this.  

Our advocacy role has spanned a range of areas. This has included writing submissions on policy proposals and bills, such as the Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill, Therapeutic Products Bill and Manatū Hauora policy proposal to repeal and replace the Mental Health Act.  

We generated good coverage of the issues we’re working on in a variety of media outlets. Over the last year we had interviews in national media such as TVNZ Breakfast, Radio Waatea and RNZ Morning Report through to specialist outlets including rural, iwi and Pasifika media.  

During the year we met with kindred agencies in Australia as a member of the Australasian Joint Mental Health Commissioner Forum. We participated in forums organised by the World Federation for Mental Health and the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL). We met visiting IIMHL CEO Steve Appleton alongside Le Va colleagues in early November.   

We have a small but very committed team of about 20 (FTEs). We have continued to focus on building our capability to act as an effective leader, monitor and advocate. A highlight for the team last year was a noho marae hosted by Te Āti Awa. We are planning further wananga in the coming year. 

This is a short snapshot of our journey over the past year. You can find full details in our latest Annual Report [PDF, 642 KB] which was tabled in Parliament last week. We have previously shared our plans for 2023/24, see our 2023/24 Statement of Performance Expectations [PDF, 6.2MB]. If there is anything in our report or plans for the year ahead you’d like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will continue to call for change to happen a lot faster to ensure the mental health and addiction system meets the needs of tangata whaiora and whānau.