Under the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Act 2020(external link), we need to:

  • assess and report publicly on the mental health and wellbeing of people in Aotearoa
  • assess and report publicly on the things that affect people’s mental health and wellbeing
  • assess and report publicly on the effectiveness, efficiency, and adequacy of approaches to mental health and wellbeing
  • make recommendations to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and adequacy of approaches to mental health and wellbeing
  • monitor mental health services and addiction services and advocate for improvements to those services
  • promote alignment, collaboration, and communication between entities involved in mental health and wellbeing
  • advocate for the collective interests of people who experience mental distress or addiction (or both), and the people (including family and whānau) who support them.

Measuring and reporting on wellbeing

Our vision for wellbeing for all people in Aotearoa is: tū tangata mauri ora, thriving together. 

Our He Ara Oranga wellbeing outcomes framework describes what ideal wellbeing looks like. We use the framework to measure people's wellbeing, and to see how this is changing over time.

The results will help us assess and report on approaches to mental health and wellbeing. Then we can make recommendatins on how these approaches can work better for people and communities.

Assessing and monitoring the mental health and addiction system

We monitor, assess, and report on mental health services, addiction services, and approaches that support people's mental health and wellbeing.

Our He Ara Āwhina (Pathways to Support) framework was published 30 June 2022 and is a framework that describes what an ideal mental health and addiction system looks like.

We will use He Ara Āwhina to assess how our mental health and addiction system is delivering for people and communities. Our findings will be used to advocate for improvements to the system.

Te Huringa: Change and Transformation. Mental Health Service and Addiction Service Monitoring Report 2022 (external link)was released in March 2022. Te Huringa was a transitional monitoring report that used an adapted version of the former Mental Health Commissioner’s framework, while we developed He Ara Āwhina as our framework for monitoring from March 2023.


We monitor and advocate for better and equitable mental health and wellbeing outcomes.  

We also advocate specifically for the collective interests of people who experience mental distress or addiction (or both) along with the people who support them.

We want everyone involved in mental health, addiction and wellbeing to look for opportunities to work together to make improvements. 

Working with HDC

The HDC and the former Mental Health Commissioner strongly support the establishment of Te Hiringa Mahara, with its broader wellbeing focus as well as a focus on mental health and addiction services.

The former Mental Health Commissioner and his team worked closely with the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission to make sure the monitoring and advocacy function transitioned smoothly.

HDC continues to promote and protect the rights of consumers as set out in the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights(external link) and act as an independent watchdog for people’s rights when using health and disability services, resolving complaints, and holding providers to account for improving their practices at an individual and system-wide level.

We will continue to work with the Health and Disability Commissioner, the Ministry of Health, Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority on issues relating to mental health and addiction.

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