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He Ara Oranga, the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, reflected the voices of thousands of New Zealanders. It included the call for a system focused on wellbeing that makes the most of existing talent and builds capability and relationships across the sector and communities. A key component of the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga is to establish a mechanism for sharing innovation and learning about what works well for whom so that services can change in ways that improve the mental health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
The Knowledge Network (the Network) is being established in response to this call.
Te Pou has been awarded the contract to host the Network for the next 12 months. It will be a dynamic, working model. We will learn as we go about how to embed Te Tiriti o Waitangi in structures and processes and to best achieve the Network’s purpose.
The Network is a Te Tiriti-based and sector owned initiative that aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of New Zealanders and achieve equity for Māori by:
It is not just about talk. The aspiration is that Network members will make on the ground changes for the people they serve based on what they learn from others and will see the successes of their service shaping other services across the country. As a result, services will be more successful in addressing equity for Māori and improving wellbeing for all.
This group has the responsibility to get the Network up and running. The Oversight Group comprises leaders from the Ministry of Health, Health Quality and Safety Commission, and Te Pou and includes the Ministry of Health’s Chief Advisor, Māori. Collectively, they are accountable to deliver and oversee the Network. They will decide on the Network’s initial design and structure and will respond to members' feedback to shape the Network going forward.
A small team will support the Network. There will be ‘knowledge brokers’ who are the connectors to link people into the Network and forge connections between people. They will find, translate and share knowledge, and they will facilitate hui and forums to enable the sharing of what works. The knowledge brokers will be supported by people with communications, technology and administration skills. A small project team is in place to do the mahi to get the Network up and running.
Currently being built, the platform will help people connect to share resources, their experiences and innovations.
The Network will comprise leaders across the mental health and addiction spectrum including people with lived experience, clinicians, planners and funders, and service delivery managers to reflect the diversity of Aotearoa. Members of the Network will bring their collective knowledge, diverse perspectives and an openness to learning from each other and adopting innovative solutions.
Experience with networks suggests it is important to stay focused on a few priority topics to prevent the participation of members becoming too diffused. Based on the feedback from the sector, there will be three initial areas of focus: