Hayden Wano announced as the new chair of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

Tōia te waka o te hauora! – Drag the canoe of good health to shore!

Tēnā tātou katoa

We were privileged and honoured to gather today at Kākāriki House in Hamilton for the significant announcement of the new chair of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Hayden Wano, who is also a member of our Wise Trust Board.

Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health Rt Hon David Clark both acknowledged Hayden’s years of leadership and governance experience, his wisdom and mana in both Māoridom and successes in the health and corporate sectors.

The initial commission will lay the groundwork for the permanent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission in February 2021, following legislation to set up the crown entity.

“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,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Wise Group joint chief executive Jacqui Graham said Hayden has a long association with the Wise Group, holding governance roles on the Group’s boards for the past 15 years. He currently sits on the Wise Trust Board.

“Hayden is held in the highest respect among his peers and colleagues. He is at the forefront of leading Māori health services and works tirelessly to improve communities. He has touched many lives in a positive way through his work as a clinician and director.

“We think of Hayden as whānau; he is a member of the Wise Group family, and it is one of the highest honours to know ‘one of our own’ has been appointed Mental Health Commissioner.”

On behalf of everyone at the Wise Group, we are immensely proud of and delighted by Hayden’s appointment. He is a progressive, solutions-focussed, insightful leader who will inspire confidence, advocate strongly and lead us into the future to achieve the vision of He Ara Oranga.

As a sign of the highest respect from the Wise Group staff, Hayden was acknowledged by the staff as he left the building after the announcement. The Wise Group whānau, including frontline staff from NGOs Pathways, LinkPeople, Workwise and Te Pou, honoured his achievement with a traditional taki waka (canoe chant) in celebration.


Published on: 12 September 2019