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Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission a welcome step - Commissioner

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Mental Health Commissioner Kevin Allan welcomed the announcement today of an initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.

"This is a significant step towards a much-needed transformation of New Zealand’s mental health and addiction sector," Kevin Allan said.

"I am pleased to see the broad focus of the initial Commission, which has been tasked with considering the wider factors which impact on our mental health and well-being.

"The initial Commission members bring a range of experience to the table, which will be important as they lay the groundwork for a permanent Commission. I welcome the strong Māori representation, as well as a youth presence. I look forward to working with Chair Hayden Wano and the other members announced today, and sharing with them what I see in my current role."

Kevin Allan will continue in his current independent monitoring and advocacy role, working within the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner. He will liaise closely with the initial Commission, co-ordinating work and providing advice where appropriate.

Looking to the future, Kevin Allan said it was critical that the permanent Commission was set up with full independence and appropriate powers to act as an authoritative, independent watchdog.

"The permanent Commission will have an important role to play supporting and monitoring the transformation in mental health and wellbeing that New Zealanders need. To do that well, it will need sufficient powers and resources and the independence to provide effective oversight and accountability."

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