Historically mental health services and policy have failed to incorporate a holistic definition of mental health and mental health promotion in their underlying philosophy and scope, giving rise to gaps in service provision. In this investigation, in-depth interviews were conducted with key informants and lay persons in order to determine prevailing needs, desires, and conceptualisations related to mental health and mental health promotion. The results were then compared with existing literature and current policy in New Zealand. The mental health constructions of lay participants were found to be generally holistic and positively oriented towards wellness, although the link between individual constructions and personal mental health experience was contrary to that anticipated. Nonetheless, the importance of mental health construction in mental health experience was strongly demonstrated. A number of concerns were voiced by participants regarding mental health services and strategies for population and personal mental well-being. These form the basis of implications for improvements of mental health promotion policy and practice.