Te Huringa: Change and Transformation. Mental Health Service and Addiction Service Monitoring Report 2022

The Commission has released Te Huringa: Change and Transformation. Mental Health Service and Addiction Service Monitoring Report 2022 [PDF, 958 KB]. Te Huringa monitors the performance of mental health services and addictions services between 2016 / 17 and 2020 / 21. Te Huringa describes what is working well, what is not, and how this has changed over time.

Te Huringa found that:

  • The mental health and addiction sector is continuing to provide services at pre-pandemic levels. Access to specialist mental health services and addiction services has not changed over the past five years.​ Use of telehealth and digital supports is increasing as they become more available, and access to primary mental health services has increased over the past year (in addition to Access and Choice programme).
  • There is a lack of current prevalence data on mental health needs and addiction needs​
  • Wait times for young people to access specialist mental health services continue to be high
  • Māori continue to disproportionately experience higher rates of community treatment orders and solitary confinement (seclusion)
  • The number of community treatment orders has increased proportionately with specialist mental health service use over the past five years​
  • There has been an overall increase in the use of solitary confinement from 2016 to 2020. Progress toward zero seclusion differs between DHBs ​
  • 1 in 5 people are not followed up after discharge from acute inpatient mental health units, with 1 in 6 re-admitted to hospital within 28 days of discharge

You can read the news story that accompanies our report on our website news page(external link)

Te Huringa is a transitional report that monitors services using an adapted version of the former Mental Health Commissioner’s framework, while we develop our monitoring framework He Ara Āwhina (Pathways to Support). 

Te Rau Tira Wellbeing Outcomes Report 2021

The Commission released Te Rau Tira Wellbeing Outcomes Report 2021 [PDF, 9 MB] on 8 December 2021. Te Rau Tira introduces our vision to improve wellbeing for communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our report measures wellbeing through our He Ara Oranga Wellbeing Outcomes Framework(external link), which was developed alongside communities and created with people with lived experience of poor wellbeing. It reflects what people say matters to them.

Our report found that:

  • most communities in Aotearoa New Zealand tend to experience good wellbeing, most of the time
  • a concerningly large minority of people and communities experience persistently poor wellbeing
  • most marginalised groups looked at, such as young people, veterans, rainbow communities, Māori, Pacific peoples, former refugees and migrants, children in state care, older people, rural communities, disabled people, prisoners, and children experiencing adverse childhood events, felt life is less worthwhile, and reported less security, poorer mental and overall health, and greater discrimination and barriers to wellbeing
  • there is a positive story of the growth of Māori collective strength, and oranga / wellbeing
  • at the same time, there continues to be a disproportionate number of Māori individuals and whānau who are not doing well and are experiencing poor wellbeing across multiple dimensions.

We will use our He Ara Oranga wellbeing outcomes framework to continue to monitor, report on, and advocate for improved wellbeing for the whole community, particularly for people with highest need and those who are disproportionately experiencing inequity.

You can read the news story that accompanies our report on our website news page.


We wish to thank and acknowledge everyone who has contributed to this work, without which this report would not have been possible.

We are grateful to all those who participated in the definition phase of the He Ara Oranga Wellbeing Outcomes Framework that guides this report, including the Initial Commission, the Expert Advisory Group, and the many organisations that provided input and feedback.

Access and Choice Programme progress report 

The Commission’s independent report on the Access and Choice Programme(external link) highlights the importance of improving access and choice for mental health and addiction services in New Zealand. Access to these services when they are needed, and giving people a diverse choice of services, are vitally important for the successful long-term transformation of mental health, addiction, and wellbeing systems in Aotearoa.

The Access and Choice programme has a particular focus on people with mild-to-moderate mental health and addiction needs. It aims to improve access to primary mental health, wellbeing, and addiction services, including in Kaupapa Māori, Pacific, youth, general practice, and community settings.

The report has found that the programme has put much-needed investment into primary and community care in line with many of the recommendations in He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction(external link), enabling important services to be provided.

The overall programme is on schedule, with the rollout of integrated primary mental health and addiction services proceeding as planned. However, the Commission would like to see the rollout of services for Māori, Pacific peoples, and youth accelerated. It also wants Youth services prioritised and delivered in ways and settings that are acceptable and accessible to young people.

Our key findings show that as of 30 June 2021, there are:

  • Integrated Primary Mental Health and Addiction services available in 237 general practices, across 16 district health boards (DHBs)
  • 12 Kaupapa Māori services across 11 DHBs
  • Nine Pacific services across seven DHBs
  • 18 Youth services across 15 DHBs, including the expansion of Youthline nationally.

For the news story that accompanies this report, click here.


We would like to thank our external peer reviewers for their guidance and advice, and the time they gave to strengthen our report.

We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of our peer reviewers:

  • Dr Julie Wharewera-Mika
  • Dr Sarah Appleton-Dyer

We are also extremely thankful to the people with lived experience of mental distress or addiction (or both), and service providers who have shared their perspectives and experiences of the Access and Choice programme. 

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