Te haerenga whanake o He Ara Āwhina He Ara Āwhina development journey

Work on He Ara Āwhina began with the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission (Initial Commission) in October 2020.

Find more information about the He Ara Āwhina framework here.

Co-define phase October 2020 – February 2021

The Initial Commission sought feedback on why we should monitor mental health services and addiction services, what we should include in our monitoring approach, and how we should go about our monitoring work.

Ninety-seven individuals and groups gave feedback through a discussion document, at lived experience focus groups, as well as hui and talanoa with Māori and Pacific communities.

People told us:

  • Support starts and continues with people and communities, not services. The former Mental Health Commissioner’s framework was viewed as being too narrow but was something that could be refined and built upon.
  • The voices of Māori and tāngata whaiora are crucial in assessing whether services, and approaches to wellbeing, are meeting the needs of people and communities.
  • There needs to be a shared view of what ‘good’ or transformative services and supports look like so we can monitor and assess performance and contribute to wellbeing outcomes.

We produced a summary report of this co-define phase.

In response to the co-define phase feedback, we have developed the He Ara Āwhina framework to monitor and assess the mental health and addiction system as a whole, not just the services that people receive. We are doing this by listening to people and communities and taking on board their ideas.

Co-development phase March 2021 – June 2022

An Expert Advisory Group (EAG) was established for He Ara Āwhina and began its mahi in September 2021, sharing expertise and perspectives to develop the framework.

Advice from the EAG, lived experience focus groups (from Māori, youth, mental health, addiction, and gambling harm perspectives), targeted discussions, and hui with Māori helped us develop the draft version of He Ara Āwhina.

The draft version of He Ara Āwhina went out for public consultation for six weeks from 8 March to 19 April 2022. We supported many ways for people to share feedback to ensure the framework and six-week consultation process was accessible to everyone, especially our priority population groups.

During our public consultation process we received over 260 submissions across all priority population groups.

Overall, people told us that He Ara Āwhina resonates with them and they like the first-person narrative, structure, and concepts. The feedback has guided us to strengthen and clarify content that is important to people.

Through a dedicated Māori engagement team, we gathered strong input by Māori, including tāngata whaiora, whānau, and Kaupapa Māori supports and services. This feedback has been supportive of He Ara Āwhina and helpfully identified concepts that could be strengthened or included across both perspectives.

What people told us, and the changes made in response, are summarised in ‘Voices’ documents showing feedback from Māori, people with Lived Experience, and the Shared perspective. 

The final version of He Ara Āwhina was published 30 June 2022.


Methods and Measurement phase and future reporting July 2022 – March 2023

He Ara Āwhina system monitoring framework has a broad scope covering services and the wider system, including services funded outside of Vote Health. The framework outlines people’s aspirations for the mental health and addiction system.

We established a Technical Advisory Network (TAN) to provide advice and expertise to develop the methods, measures and data sources for how we measure against He Ara Āwhina. This technical advisory network had a diverse membership that covered the broad scope of He Ara Āwhina, priority groups, and experience of both methods and measures (qualitative and quantitative).

The methods and measurement development was guided by our monitoring strategy, strategic direction from our EAG, technical direction from our advisory, and insights from our public consultation process about what people want to see measured and their expectations for how we monitor.

Only some of the data we need to monitor against the framework are currently available. This means we have taken a phased approach to our system monitoring work.

Phase one of this work was completed at the end of 2022. There will be a longer development timeframe for measures where data does not exist or are not readily available nationally.

He Ara Āwhina methods and measures phase 1 summary report gives an overview of our process to select methods and measures to monitor performance of the mental health and addiction system at a service level. It also sets out the data gaps we identified, and future expectations for our system monitoring.

Over time, He Ara Āwhina methods and measures will replace those used in Te Huringa.

Read and download our He Ara Āwhina methods and measures summary report below:

He Ara Āwhina methods and measures phase 1 summary report [PDF, 9 MB]

He Ara Āwhina methods and measures phase 1 summary report [DOCX, 252 KB]


Discontinued measures 2024

In early 2024 we made some adjustments to the set of measures we use as part of our He Ara Āwhina monitoring framework. The short paper outlines the measures we have discontinued. The measure list of the He Ara Āwhina framework is intended to be ‘living’. We will continue to evolve the measure set over time so it remains relevant and current.

Discontinued measures paper - May 2024 (PDF 424KB)

Discontinued measures paper - May 2024 (Word 2.4MB)