Speaking up about the Pae Ora amendment bill

Te Hiringa Mahara supports the introduction of a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy that will fall under the existing Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act. The law will be amended to bring into being a new strategy.

Submissions on the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) (Improving Mental Health Outcomes) Amendment Bill are currently being considered by the Health Select Committee. Read our submission (PDF 175 KB)

When the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill was introduced by the previous government in October 2021, we advocated for the inclusion of a mental health and addiction strategy under the legislation. While six other strategies were specified, mental health and addiction was not included. It is good that this omission will now be rectified.

The purpose of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy is to provide a framework to guide health entities for the long-term improvement of mental health and addiction outcomes. The strategy can provide clear direction and a framework for the development of a holistic and transformative approach. We recommend that the scope needs to be expanded to include wellbeing. It is only doing that we will meet the collective interests of people who experience mental health distress or addiction (or both) and those who support them, including whānau. [BB2] 

We agree with the proposed content of the strategy, with the addition of further clarification on the wellbeing and workforce aspects of the strategy. By adding workforce we will ensure consistency with the workforce elements of the other strategies in the Act.

We support the proposed requirement to consult with and have regard to our views when developing the Government Policy Statement on Health.

We do not support the proposal to include the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission as a health entity under s4 of the Act.  If this is included we argue there will be the unintended consequence of reducing our statutory independence and it will impede our ability to perform our monitoring and accountability roles.  

You can find all 59 submissions on the Health Select Committee webpage.  

Read the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) (Improving Mental Health Outcomes) Amendment Bill.

Oral submissions began in early April and we are appearing before the Committee on 1 May.