Our Principles

Benchmarking is just one important tool in our continuous improvement kete. And benchmarking by the people, for the people, is one of the KPI Programme’s unique points of difference.

All over the world, benchmarking is used as a mechanism for driving innovation and action to implement best practices. By its very nature, benchmarking is an iterative process where practices emerge over time based on collective experience about what actions improve health outcomes.

Data-driven benchmarking can also help break down barriers to transformative change and provide critical evidence to inform practice improvements, equipping users to communicate the value of new approaches.

While good benchmarking starts with robust data collection, its full utility is realised when users know how to ask the right questions and understand the data within its context. For our mental health and addiction sector, this means keeping front of mind that all data points reflect the people we serve every day.

It can be easy to get lost in the numbers and without seeking the context of the data in front of us, we run the risk of making decisions and putting effort into initiatives that don’t achieve the desired outcomes.

As a Programme, we remain committed to humanising our national mental health and addiction data set. This is so we are best positioned to facilitate benchmarking practices that equip our sector to keep implementing ‘upstream’ solutions that are transformative for tāngata whai ora, whānau and communities.


The following principles help guide how we engage and practice as a Programme.

Principle of use

Contributors will actively use benchmarking activity within their organisations to inform and improve the quality of services for the benefit of tāngata whai ora, their whānau and communities.

Information, data or resources from the KPI Programme will not be used by an individual or organisation for purposes other than intended, or without prior permission from contributors.

The exception to this is when disclosure is required under the Official Information Act (1982), or other legal provision, or as part of the agreed publication process of the KPI data set by the Programme.

Principle of collaboration

All contributors promote positive relationships within the group.

This will be demonstrated by the provision of mutual support and the creation of a safe environment that enables shared learning to take place.

Principle of reciprocity

KPI partners and contributing organisations and individuals are willing to provide and share the same amount of detail they receive, through their participation in the KPI Programme and benchmarking activities.

Principle of confidentiality

Participants will treat benchmarking activity as confidential to the participants involved.

Information about the benchmarking forums and/or other contributors must not be communicated outside the forums without prior consent from all relevant parties.

The exception to this is when disclosure is required under the Official Information Act (1982) or other legal provision, or as part of the agreed publication process of the KPI data set by the Programme.

Principle of preparation

Contributors demonstrate commitment to the KPI Programme and benchmarking activities by allowing sufficient preparation time before each meeting or forum.

This principle applies to the entire affiliate organisation, not just the individuals attending meetings or benchmarking forums.

This principle also applies to the KPI Programme team, facilitators, evaluators, scribes and anyone else who attends meetings and benchmarking forums, and/or receives information about meetings or forums.

Principle of transparency

KPI Meetings and benchmarking forums operate best when contributors are open and honest with one another.

Diversity of opinion is respected and acknowledged. Contributors to the KPI Programme operate in a safe no judgement environment.

In the spirit of transparency, parts or sections of the data dashboards will be published in the publicly searchable section of the KPI website. This information will have accompanying contextual information, and be presented in a format that is easy to understand.

Principle of leadership

All contributors have an important role to play as leaders in their own organisations and the wider mental health and addictions sector.

Contributors to the KPI Programme are promoters and champions of the Programmes vision and mission. They are passionate about the use of data and information as an evidence informed tool to improve mental health and addiction services for the people who use them.

Principle of communication

Good communication is the cornerstone of all success. Contributors to the KPI Programme commit to communication that is respectful, constructive and solution focused.

KPI contributors agree to share their learnings (good and bad) to grow understanding and benefit the sector.

If you would like to know more about contributing to the KPI Programme get in touch with the team.

A KPI is only as valuable as the action it inspires