The Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission's progress report to the Minister of Health, Mā Te Rongo Ake (Through Listening and Hearing), was released on 5 March 2021. Read more about the report here. Mā Te Rongo Ake [PDF, 7.5 MB] assesses progress of the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga, the inquiry into mental health and addiction.
Government established a ministerial advisory committee (the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission) under section 11 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000. The Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission (the Initial Commission) was set up to maintain the momentum of He Ara Oranga, the Goverment inquiry into mental health and addiction, and the work to transform Aotearoa New Zealand's mental health and wellbeing system while the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission was being established.
The Initial Commission undertook some, but not all, of the functions of the Commission.The Initial Commission specifically monitored progress of the Government’s system transformation response to He Ara Oranga and provided advice on and reported to the Minister of Health after one year of the Initial Commission’s establishment. This included monitoring progress on the implementation of kaupapa Māori approaches to mental health and wellbeing.
The Initial Commission operated until the Commission opened its doors on 9 February 2021.
Role of the Initial Commission
The role of the Initial Commission was to:
The Initial Commission's work
There were three major pieces of work that the Initial Commission was responsible for delivering:
For more information about the Government inquiry into mental health and addiction, He Ara Oranga, visit their website: He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction(external link)
Hayden is of Te Atiawa, Taranaki and Ngati Awa descent and has over 30 years’ experience in senior health management. He is currently Chief Executive of Tui Ora Limited (a Māori development organisation and health and social service). Mr Wano has over 40 years’ health sector experience in mental health, community and medical services, including being the former Director of Clinical Services with Taranaki Healthcare Limited.
Hayden has held a wide range of governance positions, including Interim Chair of National Health Board, Chair of Taranaki District Health Board and Chair of Health Sponsorship Council. He is a former Director of TSB and recently retired from the role of Chair of TSB Community Trust. Hayden is currently a Board member of the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce and Wise Group.
Hayden has a Master of Business Administration from Massey University and participated in a Senior Executive Programme at Columbia University. In 2017 he received the Taranaki Mayoral Award for Business Excellence. He is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) and a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.
Julie is of Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tuhoe and Te Whānau-a-Apanui descent and is a Director, Clinical Psychologist and Lead Co-researcher at Manu Ārahi - The Flying Doctors. She has more than 20 years’ mental health experience, employed in various roles within the sector primarily as a clinical psychologist. She has been employed within inpatient services, Adult, and Child and Adolescent Community Mental Health District Health Board services. She is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Brain Research New Zealand, at the University of Auckland. Her broader areas of research interest are focused on improving Māori mental health and wellbeing, mental health service delivery, support services for survivors of sexual violence and Māori mental health workforce development.
Julie has extensive governance experience. She is the current Bi-cultural Director on the NZ Psychological Society Board and a member of the National Standing Committee for Bi-cultural Issues.
Julie has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, both from the University of Auckland.
Kevin is the Chief Executive of Forest & Bird. He has held various leadership roles in the business, government, and community sectors. Kevin was previously Chief Executive of the West Coast District Health Board and Executive Director of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.
Kevin is a former New Zealand Member of Parliament and served on the Parliamentary Health Committee for eight years.
Kevin was a member of the New Zealand National Health Committee and the National Quality Improvement Committee, and was Chair of the New Zealand Public Health Advisory Committee.
Kelly is a mental health advocate, youth worker and writer. She is the Founder of Crazy Young Things Consulting, which provides consumer advice relating to mental health, peer support and youth participation. Currently, Kelly is the coordinator for Reframe Wānanga at Stepping Stone Trust - a Recovery College initiative for youth. Prior to this, she was a National Youth Consumer Advisor at Werry Centre and coordinator for the consumer network Awareness: Canterbury Action on Mental Health and Addictions.
Kelly has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Canterbury, a National Diploma in Mental Health Support Work from Southern Institute of Technology and a level 4 Certificate in Te Ara Reo Māori from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, though considers her most valuable qualification to be the fifteen years she spent using mental health services and journeying to understand her experiences beyond a bio-medical perspective.
Kendall is of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu descent, and is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Banqer, an online programme that develops financial capability in children. Prior to this, Kendall held various positions including an accounting role at KPMG, web developer at Abletech, and founder roles with two other tech start-ups. She won the title of Young New Zealander of the Year in 2019, Te Whetū Maiangi Award for Young Achievers in 2019, and was named Young Māori Business Leader of the Year in 2018. Ms Flutey is a Trustee of Limitless, a youth-focused charitable trust.
Kendall holds a Master of Entrepreneurship, a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Graduate Diploma in Accounting, all from the University of Otago.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi paves our way, and the Māori-Crown partnership is our foundation
Wellbeing for all is our goal
We uphold multiple knowledges, including Mātauranga Māori, and share power
We put people, whānau and communities at the centre of all our work
Our priorities are guided by the voices of lived experience, Māori, Pacific peoples and other groups who experience poorer wellbeing outcomes
We take holistic approaches that enhance wellbeing
We carry the spirit and voices of He Ara Oranga, Oranga Tāngata, Oranga Whānau and the Mental Health Inquiry Pacific Report
Our work makes a difference
Our work is accessible to all.
Download their Terms of Reference:
The Government has committed to establishing an independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission as part of its response to He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction (He Ara Oranga).
This is an important time for mental health and wellbeing in New Zealand and a pivotal opportunity for a Commission to influence better and more equitable mental health and wellbeing outcomes.
The new Commission will provide enduring, independent oversight of mental health and wellbeing in New Zealand. The Commission’s focus spans all government and non-government contributors to mental health and wellbeing. This includes, but is not limited to, the health and disability, social welfare, housing, education, justice and workplace relations and safety sectors. It encompasses the social determinants of health like whānau ora, housing, employment, poverty, social and physical isolation, racism, the impact of colonisation, the environment, social attitudes and more.
The Commission will oversee the performance of the whole mental health and wellbeing system and challenge it to perform better. It will not, however, investigate the performance of specific services or investigate individual complaints.
To ensure its independence, the Commission will be established through the legislative process as a Crown entity. While legislation is being progressed, an Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission (the Initial Commission) will undertake some, but not all, of the functions of the permanent Commission. The Initial Commission will be established under section 11 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 to provide advice to the Minister of Health on the mental health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.
This document is a Terms of Reference approved by Cabinet. It sets out the purpose, functions and operations for the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.
The purpose of the Initial Commission is to provide independent scrutiny of the Government’s progress in improving New Zealand’s mental health and wellbeing, promote collaboration between entities that contribute to mental health and wellbeing, and develop advice for the permanent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission (the permanent Commission) to enable the permanent Commission to make swift progress once it has been established.
The Initial Commission will:
monitor progress of the Government’s system transformation response to He Ara Oranga and provide advice on and report to the Minister of Health within one year of the Initial Commission’s establishment. This shall include monitoring progress on the implementation of kaupapa Māori approaches
develop a draft outcomes and monitoring framework for mental health and wellbeing that would be suitable for the permanent Commission to consider adopting
begin to identify any gaps in information required to monitor performance under the draft framework and make recommendations to the Minister of Health on how these could be filled and by whom
develop a draft work programme and potential operating model for consideration by the permanent Commission
provide input on the establishment of the permanent Commission including its roles and powers
develop and maintain relationships with and between key government and non-government entities that contribute to mental health and wellbeing, including those monitoring or contributing information on aspects of system performance.
The Initial Commission is not required to perform some functions that the permanent Commission will undertake, namely:
assess and publicly report on the state of New Zealand's mental health and wellbeing and emerging issues beyond progress with implementing Government’s response to He Ara Oranga
advocate for improvements to the mental health and wellbeing system beyond those that are being undertaken in response to He Ara Oranga.
The Initial Commission will not be required to investigate or advocate on individual incidents or cases. If it becomes aware of such cases requiring consideration, it will refer these to the appropriate agencies, for example, the Health and Disability Commissioner or other relevant authorities.