Government announces initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

The Government has today announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which it says will "play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand".

(File photo) Source:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her Government is taking mental health seriously, after the previous National government closed the Mental Health Commission in 2012.

“It was held in high regard and did a good job of providing leadership and accelerating progress across the sector," she said of the previous commission. "We want it back to hold us and future governments to account.

“The initial commission will track our progress on the range of actions we’re taking to tackle the long-term challenge of improving mental healthcare across New Zealand.

“It will report back directly to the Minister of Health within one year,” she said.

After the initial commission has delivered its report, a permanent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is planned to be established in February 2021.

According to the Government, the initial commission will:

• Provide independent scrutiny of the Government’s progress in improving New Zealand’s mental health and wellbeing

• Promote collaboration between mental health and wellbeing entities

• Develop advice for the permanent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission so it can make swift progress once it has been established, including a work programme, outcomes and monitoring framework

The Government has appointed Hayden Wano, who has over 40 years of experience in the health sector, as the chair of the initial commission.