Mental Wellbeing Long-Term Pathway

The Ministry of Health led the development of a whole-of-government, long-term pathway for transforming New Zealand’s approach to mental wellbeing.

Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing

We are transforming Aotearoa’s approach to mental wellbeing so people are supported to stay well, and have access to help that works for them, when and where they need it. This takes a united effort with many people working together over time.

Our vision is to fundamentally shift the way we support mental wellbeing, placing greater emphasis on people being supported to proactively manage their wellbeing.

As a result, New Zealanders will have better understanding of mental wellbeing, be able to support themselves and each other, and will be able to get help in the places they already visit, like schools, workplaces and sports clubs.

Change is already underway, driven by the Government’s cross-Government $1.9 billion package for mental wellbeing in Budget 2019. We’ve built the foundations for transformation and have initiated long-term programmes.

Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the Government’s high-level plan for transformation over the long-term. It outlines the next steps for further implementation of the changes required to support the mental wellbeing of New Zealanders.

New Zealanders have said clearly what needs to change in our mental health and addiction system.

The case for transformation was made in He Ara Oranga – the Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.

We've continued to refine our vision for the future through further consultations, including Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Ora Aotearoa and the engagement process on the Long-Term Pathway that ran earlier this year.

Kia Manawanui is founded on all this feedback.

This document sets the direction for the next stage of the transformation started in 2019 with the $1.9 billion package for mental wellbeing.

Kia Manawanui outlines the actions we will take over the short, medium, and longer term.

This is cross-government work with everyone playing their part for the mental wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

Kia Manawanui focuses on a population-based approach to mental wellbeing.

A population-based approach means improving mental wellbeing for all, while addressing inequities for specific population groups.

We've identified five focus areas: Building the social, cultural, environmental and economic foundations for mental wellbeing.

This means coordinating across the diverse areas that contribute to mental wellbeing, such as housing, employment and social development.

Equipping communities, whānau and individuals to look after their own mental wellbeing.

We're strengthening our focus on public health messaging so everyone knows about the free self-help tools and supports available.

Fostering community-led solutions.

We know that communities best understand their local conditions, so we are looking for ways to support community-led services that get results.

Expanding primary mental wellbeing support in communities.

Whether it's expanding existing services or boosting workforce numbers we are making sure there is mental wellbeing support in every community in Aotearoa.

Strengthening specialist services.

Sometimes people will need more support and when that happens there needs to be a solid system of specialist services available across the country.

Our vision means New Zealanders will be better supported than ever before to stay mentally well and get help where, when, and how they need it.

Watch the Kia Manawanui launch, 23 September 2021

Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Companion Document


He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction presents the recommendations and identifies the Government’s approach to each. Progress made by the Ministry of Health is outlined, recognising that this sits within a wider landscape of activity by other Government agencies and community organisations.

The recommendations span nine overarching themes, calling for broad transformation as well as for specific changes.

The companion document to Kia Manawanui Aotearoa: Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing presents the recommendations and identifies the Government’s approach to each. Progress made by the Ministry of Health is outlined, recognising that this sits within a wider landscape of activity by other Government agencies and community organisations.

The System and Service Framework

Kia Manawanui recognises that mental wellbeing is not the sole responsibility of the health system and sets out the actions needed across sectors to achieve pae ora. One of the key actions for the health sector is the development of a System and Service Framework to provide guidance for the mental health and addiction sector to play its part in enhancing mental wellbeing.

We’re developing a framework that identifies the core components of a contemporary mental health and addiction system to support everyone to experience mental wellbeing and address mental health issues and substance-related harm.

We started working on this last year, with an initial Lived Experience Design Group and targeted hui and have continued its development while working with the new health entities to ensure alignment with the interim New Zealand Health Plan. We are now at the stage where we would like your feedback on our current thinking.

The framework will describe the system we want to see in place 10 years from now and will focus on oritetanga (equity) and how services respond to their communities' needs and work together to ensure effective pathways and transitions. It will set clear expectations for:

  • what mental health and addiction services will be available to individuals and whānau
  • how services should be organised locally, regionally and nationally
  • the principles that should inform system and service design and service delivery
  • the critical shifts required to get there within a 10-year horizon.

The framework is not intended to determine how services are delivered at a regional or local level and does not provide detailed descriptions of services.

The draft framework has been developed in alignment with the wider health and disability sector reforms and we will continue to work with the interim Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand as we revise the document in light of your feedback. The finalised framework will give direction to those responsible for publicly-funded health system policy, design, planning, service commissioning, and delivery and will inform the development of future New Zealand Health Plans.

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