Sources of statistics and information on mental health in New Zealand

Updated September 2021
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If you’re a researcher or student looking for statistics on mental health and wellbeing in New Zealand, you might find the following list handy. The information is divided by alphabetical order into organisations/programmes and reports.

Organisations and programmes

Organisation/

Programme

Website

Types of statistics/information/data

Coronial Services

https://coronialservices.justice.govt.nz/suicide 

Publishes Provisional suicide statistics, normally around August each year.  With the Ministry of Health, Coronial Services also publishes the Suicide web tool.

Ara Poutama Aotearoa / Department of Corrections

https://www.corrections.govt.nz/

Publishes statistics and research reports on the prison population. 

See https://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources

Figure.NZ

https://figure.nz/ 

https://maori.figure.nz/ 

https://pacific.figure.nz/ 

Figure.NZ has NZ data on several topics presented as tables and charts. There are quite a few tables relating to different aspects of mental health, including prevalence tables.

Pātaka Raraunga/Māori Figure was launched in 2020 and provides data for and about Māori.

Pacific Data Fale o Aotearoa was launched in 2021 and has data for and about Pacific people in Aotearoa.

FYI.org.nz

https://fyi.org.nz/ 

This website lets you search across official information requests and responses. These can be a rich source of information and are not always published in other forms (for example, a request about the incidence of violence in hospitals). 

The authorities covered by this portal are:

  • Those formally subject to the OIA (Official Information Act)
  • Those formally subject to LGOIMA (Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act)
  • Those which voluntarily comply with the OIA
  • Those which aren't subject to the Act but have significant public responsibilities

Global Burden of Disease

http://www.healthdata.org/new-zealand (Country profile)

The international Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) is the most comprehensive worldwide observational epidemiological study to date. It describes mortality and morbidity from major diseases, injuries and risk factors to health at global, national and regional levels. Examining trends from 1990 to the present and making comparisons across populations helps with the understanding of the changing health challenges across the world in the 21st century. 

Growing up in NZ

http://www.growingup.co.nz/en.html 

This is Aotearoa’s largest contemporary longitudinal study of child development. 

Health and Disability Commission

https://www.hdc.org.nz 

HDC has four strategic objectives to influence change:

  • Protect the rights of health consumers and disability services consumers under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act and Code
  • Improve quality within the health and disability sectors
  • Hold providers to account appropriately
  • Promote respect for and observance of the rights of health and disability services consumers

You might find the monitoring and advocacy reports particularly useful.
July 2022: The HDC’s monitoring role has moved to Te Hiringa Mahara - Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. 

Health Quality and Safety Commission

https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/mental-health-and-addiction-quality-improvement/ 

Works in several programme areas including mental health and addiction services. 

There are several mortality committees (including Suicide, Family Violence and others), which put out reports with statistics.

Te Hiringa Hauora / Health Promotion Agency

https://www.hpa.org.nz 

Runs surveys on health, lifestyles, mental health, wellbeing and smoking

Runs the Health and Lifestyles survey and the Mental Health and Wellbeing survey

Publishes research reports as well as statistical data on wellbeing, alcohol and Māori cultural identity through the Kupe data explorer

July 2022 Te Hiringa Hauora / HPA has been disestablished and has moved into the National Public Health Service at Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand. 

Human Rights Commission

https://www.hrc.co.nz/ 

Works in several programme areas, including:

The Commission also publishes reports and resources

Key Performance Indicators of the New Zealand Mental Health and Addictions Sector

https://www.mhakpi.health.nz/Data/KPI-Framework/Adult-Stream-Framework 

The New Zealand Mental Health and Addictions KPI Programme is a provider-led initiative to improve quality and performance across the Mental Health and Addictions sector.

Le Va

 

http://www.leva.co.nz/resources 

Supports Pasifika families and communities by designing and developing evidence-based resources, tools, information, knowledge and support services. Le Va’s resource centre provides information on suicide prevention, wellbeing and mental health for Pasifika.

Te Hiringa Mahara – Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission 

https://www.mhwc.govt.nz/ 

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission was set up in 2021 and works towards creating better and equitable mental health and wellbeing outcomes for New Zealanders.

The Commission has published a wellbeing framework, and reports on wellbeing outcomes and access and choice.

Mental Health Review Tribunal 

https://www.health.govt.nz/new-zealand-health-system/key-health-sector-organisations-and-people/mental-health-review-tribunal 

Annual and other reports are available on the MOH website.

Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health

https://www.health.govt.nz 

 

The “Health Statistics” navigation includes a page on mental health statistics. The Ministry also runs the NZ Health Survey.  

Some data is available to the public from the New Zealand health survey: annual data explorer  (n.b., this link is updated each year as new data becomes available). This is a good source of time series statistics on mental health conditions (i.e., psychological distress, anxiety, mood disorders, bipolar disorder, depression) and other factors contributing to wellbeing like physical activity.

There is also a Mental health data explorer which has indicators for a wide variety of issues, including mild anxiety, substance abuse, loneliness, and more. 

The Ministry also publishes the official suicide statistics and with Coronial Services, the Suicide web tool.

Ministry of Pacific Peoples

https://www.mpp.govt.nz/ 

The Ministry publishes various reports including the Contemporary Pacific Status Report and Wellbeing budget reports. 

Ministry of Social Development

http://www.msd.govt.nz 

The Ministry of Social Development published The social report in 2016. The report covers a range of topics, from health, social wellbeing, connectedness, life satisfaction and more. 

The summary indicators page shows a range of figures for many social indicators, with comparison information with other OECD countries where available. 

New Zealand Parliament

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/order-paper-questions/written-questions/ 

Parliamentary questions help keep the Government of the day accountable and transparent. Members of the public can search a database of written questions and answers and find information that they may not find elsewhere. Sometimes questions are asked about mental health services and issues.  

New Zealand Police

https://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publications-statistics 

NZ Police provide research reports and data about many aspects of their work, including incidents, offenders and victims.

New Zealand Treasury

https://treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/nz-economy/living-standards/our-living-standards-framework/measuring-wellbeing-lsf-dashboard 

The government has implemented a “wellbeing” budget, and this webpage pulls together various indicators of wellbeing into a LSF (Living Standards Framework) dashboard.  

OECD

http://www.oecd.org/newzealand/ 

OECD publishes on various topics, including economics, health, and society. The website features data and reports, e.g., the Better life index.  

New Zealand participates in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). PISA measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. The survey takes place every three years and includes questions about student wellbeing and bullying.

Ombudsman

https://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/resources 

The website contains a variety of resources and publications (including guides, case notes, opinions, and reports) on a wide range of topics. A search of publications for the word “statistics”, for example, pulled up recidivism and taser use statistics.

Social Wellbeing Agency

https://thehub.sia.govt.nz/ 

The Hub is a one-stop-shop for all social science research that was undertaken, commissioned, or partly funded by central government in New Zealand.

Statistics New Zealand

https://www.stats.govt.nz/ 

 

Statistics NZ run the census and other surveys. Their website hosts a variety of tools and publications, and web pages contain links to related sources. 

You might be interested in:

  • Statistics by topic, including wellbeing, housing, life expectancy and more
  • Te Kupenga, a report on Māori wellbeing.
  • Visit the Society topic for some wellbeing and other statistics.

The Ngā Tūtohu o Aotearoa: Indicators Aotearoa New Zealand has a separate website. Visit this page for the Wellbeing indicators.

Suicide Prevention Office

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/suicide-prevention-office-drive-action-save-lives 

The Office was established in 2019, but no website yet. 

See MOH’s Suicide prevention in New Zealand for the latest activity in this space. 

Te Pou

https://www.tepou.co.nz 

Te Pou is the national centre of evidence-based workforce development for the mental health, addiction and disability sectors in New Zealand. 

Some of Te Pou’s current projects look at reducing the use of seclusion and restraint, increasing access to talking therapies, supporting more people to take part in training, and improving the physical health of people using services. They also provide tools, training, and resources to improve outcomes and information use.

Te Pou is leading the National’s Mental Health and Addictions KPI programme.

Te Puni Kōkiri/Ministry of Māori Development

https://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/a-matou-mohiotanga/health 

Te Puni Kōkiri has a number of publications about health

See in particular publications on Māori wellbeing and research on the wider determinants of health, such as:

Te Rau Ora

https://terauora.com/publications/

 

Te Rau Ora provides information on suicide prevention, wellbeing and mental health for Māori.

University of Auckland/ Adolescent Health and Research Group

https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/en/faculty/adolescent-health-research-group.html 

The Youth2000 survey series took place in several waves from 2000 onwards, and includes reports and research articles on Rainbow, Pacific and Māori young people.

For results of the 2019 survey, see the Youth19 website.

University of Auckland/ Attitudes and Values Study

https://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/new-zealand-attitudes-and-values-study.html 

This is a 20-year longitudinal national probability study that looks into the social attitudes, personality, and health outcomes of more than 60,000 New Zealanders. 

Many papers from this study deal with a wide variety of topics, including mental distress, gender, discrimination, and more.  

University of Otago/ Dunedin study

https://dunedinstudy.otago.ac.nz/ 

The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study has been going for 45 years. It is a longitudinal study of the health, development and wellbeing of a general sample of New Zealanders. They were first studied at birth (1972-73) and followed up every couple of years, with researchers hoping to continue further assessments in the future. 

The programme has spawned several sub-studies on changes in youth behaviour, parenting styles, and health of families.

Waitangi Tribunal

https://www.waitangitribunal.govt.nz/ 

A report on reoffending rates contains a section on “The situation for Māori today”.  

World Health Organization

http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/en/ 

WHO publishes on various health topics including mental health and substance abuse, e.g., Mental disorders and Suicide prevention, and there is also a Mental health atlas.

There is some information about the Western Pacific region, but not so much specifically on New Zealand. 


Key reports

Reports in this section are subdivided into: General mental health statistics, Suicide statistics, and Wellbeing statistics.

General mental health statistics

  1. Ataera-Minster, J., & Trowland, H. (2018). Te Kaveinga: Mental health and wellbeing of Pacific peoples: Results from the New Zealand Mental Health Monitor & Health and Lifestyles Survey. Wellington: Health Promotion Agency. 
    Retrieved from: https://www.leva.co.nz/resources/te-kaveinga-mental-health-and-wellbeing-of-pacific-peoples 
  2. Deverick, Z., Russell, L., Hudson, S. (2017). Attitudes of adults towards people with experiences of mental distress: results from the 2015 New Zealand mental health monitor. Wellington, N.Z.: Health Promotion Agency. 
    Retrieved from: http://www.hpa.org.nz/sites/default/files/717221_6 LMLM Report MHS 2015 5 July.pdf
  3. Health and Disability Commissioner. (2020). Aotearoa New Zealand’s mental health services and addiction services: The monitoring and advocacy report of the Mental Health Commissioner. Mental Health Commissioner. 
    Retrieved from: https://www.hdc.org.nz/news-resources/search-resources/mental-health/monitoring-and-advocacy-report-of-the-mental-health-commissioner-2020/. This report is produced annually and accompanied by an infographic with key figures, a media release, and media Q&A. In 2021, responsibilities for monitoring and advocacy went to the newly established Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. https://www.mhwc.govt.nz/ .
  4. Health Quality & Safety Commission, & Suicide Mortality Review Committee. (2016). Ngā Rāhui Hau Kura: Suicide Mortality Review Committee: feasibility study 2014–15: Report to the Ministry of Health. Wellington, N.Z.: Health Quality & Safety Commission. Retrieved from: https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/assets/SUMRC/PR/SuMRC-full-report-May-2016.pdf 
  5. Health statistics and data sets. (n.d.). 
    Retrieved from: https://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/health-statistics-and-data-sets 
  6. Hudson, S., Russell, L., Holland, K., & Health Promotion Agency. (2017). Indicators of mental health and wellbeing of adults: findings from the 2015 New Zealand Mental Health Monitor. Wellington, N.Z.: Health Promotion Agency.
    Retrieved from: https://www.hpa.org.nz/sites/default/files/726033_2%20NDI%20Report%2001%20August.pdf
    The Mental Health Monitor survey was last undertaken in 2018, however there isn’t a report equivalent to the one above from 2015. There are several publications about specific findings of the survey, including infographics on: wellbeing of rainbow populations, Māori youth less isolated than peers, and mental health and wellbeing of Pacific peoples. To see these and other HPA mental health publications, visit this page.
  7. Kent, V., McTaggart, S., Terruhn, J., & Spoonley, P. (2021). New Zealand workplace diversity survey 2021. Diversity Works NZ. https://diversityworksnz.org.nz/media/4750/0521-diversity-survey-report-final.pdf 
  8. Landing page: https://diversityworksnz.org.nz/research-findings. This survey is now annual.

  9. Kvalsvig, A. (2018). Wellbeing and mental distress in Aotearoa New Zealand: snapshot 2016. Wellington, N.Z.: Health Promotion Agency.
    Retrieved from: https://www.hpa.org.nz/sites/default/files/Wellbeing-And-Mental-Distress-Snapshot-2016-Final-FEB2018.PDF 
  10. Ministry of Health. (2018). Mental health and addiction: service use 2015/16.
    Retrieved from: https://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/health-statistics-and-data-sets/mental-health-and-addiction-service-use-series Note: Tables are also available for 2016/17 and 2018/19.
  11. Ministry of Health. (2018a). Improving the health of New Zealanders.
    Retrieved from: https://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/national-collections-and-surveys/surveys/new-zealand-health-survey/improving-health-new-zealanders 
  12. Ministry of Health. (2016). Health loss in New Zealand 1990-2013: a report from the New Zealand Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factor Study. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Health.
    Retrieved from: https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/health-loss-new-zealand-1990-2013
  13. Ministry of Health. (2021). Office of the Director of Mental Health annual report 2018 and 2019. Wellington: Ministry of Health. 
    Retrieved from:  https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministry/corporate-publications/mental-health-annual-reports
  14. Ministry of Health. (2007-)  Health and independence report. Retrieved from: https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministry/corporate-publications/health-and-independence-reports. This report is annual, normally with a lag of 2 years.
  15. Ministry of Health. (2020a). Longer, healthier lives: New Zealand’s health 1990–2017. Ministry of Health.
    Retrieved from: https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/longer-healthier-lives-new-zealands-health-1990-2017 
  16. Ministry of Health. (2021). New Zealand health survey: annual data explorer.  2020-2021
    data is at: https://minhealthnz.shinyapps.io/nz-health-survey-2020-21-annual-data-explorer/_w_10bd7f46/#!/key-indicators 
  17. Ministry of Social Development. (2016). The social report 2016. Wellington, N.Z.: Ministry of Social Development.
    Retrieved from: http://socialreport.msd.govt.nz/documents/2016/msd-the-social-report-2016.pdf
    Landing page: https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/social-report/index.html 
  18. New Zealand Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. (2022). Te Huringa: Change and Transformation: Mental Health Service and Addiction Service Monitoring Report 2022. The Commission. https://www.mhwc.govt.nz/assets/Te-Huringa/FINAL-MHWC-Te-Huringa-Service-Monitoring-Report.pdf
  19. Oakley-Browne, M., Wells, J. E., Scott, K. M., Ministry of Health. (2006a). Te rau hinengaro: the New Zealand mental health survey. Wellington, N.Z.: Ministry of Health.
    Retrieved from: https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/mental-health-survey.pdf 
  20. Russell, L. (2018). Te oranga hinengaro - Māori mental wellbeing: results from the New Zealand Mental Health Monitor & Health and Lifestyles Survey. Wellington: Health Promotion Agency. 
    Retrieved from: https://www.hpa.org.nz/sites/default/files/Final-report-TeOrangaHinengaro-M%C4%81ori-Mental-Wellbeing-Oct2018.pdf 
  21. Social Policy and Research Unit. (2017). Subjective whānau wellbeing in Te Kupenga: research summary
    Retrieved from: https://thehub.swa.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Subjective-whanau-wellbeing-summary.pdf 
  22. Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit. (2018). Families and whānau status report 2018: Research & evidence about what works for families & whānau. Wellington, N.Z.: Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit. 
    Retrieved from: https://thehub.sia.govt.nz/resources/families-and-whanau-status-report-2018/ 
  23. Waitangi Tribunal. (2017). Tū mai te rangi!: report on the Crown and disproportionate reoffending rates WAI 2540. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: Legislation Direct. 
    Retrieved from: https://forms.justice.govt.nz/search/Documents/WT/wt_DOC_135986487/Tu%20Mai%20te%20Rangi%20W.pdf 
  24. World Health Organization. (2018). Mental health atlas 2017. Geneva: World Health Organization. 
    Retrieved from: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272735/9789241514019-eng.pdf?ua=1  or https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/mental_health_atlas_2017/en/ 

Suicide statistics

  1. Coronial Services of New Zealand. (2020). Annual provisional suicide statistics for deaths reported to the Coroner between 1 July 2007 and 30 June 2020.
    Please note, these reports are now supported by the new suicide statistics web tool. There are some differences in the methodology used in the tool, explained here
  2. Ministry of Health. (2019). Suicide facts: data tables 1996−2016.
    Retrieved from: https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/suicide-facts-data-tables-19962016 
  3. Suicide web tool https://minhealthnz.shinyapps.io/suicide-web-tool/

Wellbeing statistics

  1. Avvisati, F., Echazarra, A., Givord, P., & Schwabe, M. (2019). Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results for PISA 2018: Country note: New Zealand.
    Retrieved from OECD website: https://www.oecd.org/pisa/publications/PISA2018_CN_NZL.pdf
  2. AUT University. Human Potential Centre. (2015). Sovereign wellbeing index.
    Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330923118_Sovereign_Wellbeing_Index_2015
  3. CAF: Charities Aid Foundation. (2017). CAF world giving index 2017 | A global view of giving trends 
    Retrieved from: https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2017-publications/caf-world-giving-index-2017 
  4. Canterbury wellbeing index | Community & Public Health. (2016).
    Retrieved from: https://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/canterbury-wellbeing-index/ 
  5. Forsyth, D., Ashby, L., Gardner, D., … Tappin, D. (2021). The New Zealand Workplace Barometer Psychosocial safety climate and worker health – findings from the 2020 NZ Workplace Barometer. Massey University.
     For the 2020 and previous surveys, visit the NZ Workplace Barometer:
    https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/learning/colleges/college-business/school-of-management/research/healthy-work-group/new-zealand-workplace-barometer.cfm  
  6. Happy planet index: New Zealand. (n.d.).
    Retrieved from: https://happyplanetindex.org/compare/?c=NZL 
  7. Helliwell, J. F., Wang, S., Huang, J., & Norton, M. (2022). World happiness report 2022. Sustainable Development Solutions Network. https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2022/ 
  8. Ipsos. (2019, December). Mental health in New Zealand: An Ipsos Global Advisor Survey.
    Retrieved from: https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ipsos-nz-global-advisor-mental-health_nz-dec-2019.pdf 
  9. New Zealand Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. (2021). Te rau tira: Wellbeing outcomes report 2021. New Zealand Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. https://www.mhwc.govt.nz/assets/Te-Rau-Tira-Wellbeing-Outcomes-Report-2021/Te-Rau-Tira-Wellbeing-Outcomes-Report-2021-FINAL-WEB.pdf
  10. New Zealand Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. (2021). Access and Choice Programme: Report on the first two years = Te Hotaka mo Nga Whai Wahitanga me Nga Kowhiringa : He purongo mo nga rua tau tuatahi. New Zealand Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. https://www.mhwc.govt.nz/assets/Our-reports/MHWC-Access-and-Choice-report-Final.pdf  
  11. NZ Treasury. (n.d.). Measuring wellbeing: the LSF Dashboard.
    Retrieved from: https://treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/nz-economy/living-standards/our-living-standards-framework/measuring-wellbeing-lsf-dashboard 
  12. OECD. (2017a). OECD Better Life Index. 
    Retrieved from: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/new-zealand/ 
  13. OECD. (2017b). PISA 2015 Results (Volume III): Students’ well-being. Paris: OECD Publishing.
    Retrieved from: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/pisa-2015-results-volume-iii_9789264273856-en 
  14. OECD. (2019). PISA 2018 results (volume III): What school life means for students’ lives. Paris: OECD Publishing
    Retrieved from: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/pisa-2018-results-volume-iii_acd78851-en 
  15. OECD. (2017). Figure 5.24. New Zealand’s average level of current well-being: Comparative strengths and weaknesses.
    Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1787/888933599308 
  16. Quality of Life. (2020). Quality of life survey. 
    Retrieved from: http://www.qualityoflifeproject.govt.nz/survey.htm 
  17.  Southern Cross Health Society, & Business New Zealand. (2021). Wellness in the workplace: survey report 2021. Southern Cross Health Society.   https://www.businessnz.org.nz/resources/surveys-and-statistics/wellness-in-the-workplace-survey/Southern-Cross-Health-Insurance-BusinessNZ-Workplace-Wellness-Report-2021.pdf 
  18. Retrieved from: https://www.businessnz.org.nz/resources/surveys-and-statistics/wellness-in-the-workplace-survey 

  19. Statistics New Zealand. (2014). Te Kupenga 2013. 
    Retrieved from: https://www.cbg.co.nz/site/cbg/files/TeKupenga13HOTP.pdf 
  20. Statistics New Zealand. (2019). Wellbeing statistics 2018. 
    Retrieved from: https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/wellbeing-statistics-2018 See also Wellbeing Indicators. 
  21. Veale, J., Byrne, J., Tan, K., Guy, S., Yee, A., Nopera, T., & Bentham, R. (2019). Counting ourselves: The health and wellbeing of trans and non-binary people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Transgender Health Research Lab, University of Waikato. 
    Retrieved from: https://countingourselves.nz/index.php/community-report/