Hayden Wano is the chair of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission - established last year as part of the government's response to the comprehensive mental health inquiry.
The inquiry recommended sweeping changes, including a suicide reduction target, boosting access to publicly-funded mental health and addiction services for people with mild to moderate needs and broadening the types of services available.
40 recomendations were made and 38 adopted by the government - including the establishment of the watchdog commisson.
Hayden Wano began his career as a nurse working in the obstetric and psychiatric fields, in time becoming Taranaki's first psychiatric district nurse.
More recently he has been Chief Executive of the largest health and social service provider in Taranaki Tui Ora.
He talks with Kathryn about the challenges of improving the country's mental health and wellbeing.
The Mental Health Foundation has developed a new online resource Looking after mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19.