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Auckland DHB Adult Acute Mental Health Unit - Te Whetu Tawera

Public Service, Mental Health


Te Whetu Tawera is the Auckland District Health Board’s Acute Mental Health Unit for adults. It has 58 beds, which includes 12 Intensive Care Unit beds. The unit is located alongside the Auckland Domain with views of Auckland Harbour. It is unique in that it is very flexible in function with spaces and rooms able to be reconfigured and used according to patients' needs. The Acute Mental Health Unit was gifted a Māori name, Te Whetu Tawera, which translates as 'the evening star'.


What is Mental Illness?
Mental illness is a clinically significant behaviour or psychological (to do with the mind) disorder that is associated with distress or disability. It is not just the way someone responds to a particular event nor is it limited to the way a person interacts with society.

A mental illness can continuously or intermittently (occasionally) affect our capacity for speech, language, mood, affect, thoughts, perceptions, insight, judgement, cognition (understanding) and volition (ability to make choices). It can limit our ability to function as society would normally expect of us and can put us and others at risk.

Mental illness is therefore, a broad term that covers problems ranging from minor to severe disorders.


Who is a Psychiatrist?
A ‘psychiatrist’ is a doctor who, after basic medical qualifications, receives further training and develops the expertise to become a ‘specialist’ in identifying symptoms of, and diagnosing and treating, mental illnesses. You may have been referred to a psychiatrist if your doctor feels you need specialist help.

Referral Expectations

Referrals must be made by other mental health services.


There are no charges for inpatient treatment for people entitled to public health care in New Zealand. Assessment and treatment provided under the Mental Health Act is free to anyone who requires it.   Residents of the UK or Australia temporarily visiting NZ are entitled to all urgent or immediately needed medical treatment, as specified in the Reciprocal Health Agreements between NZ and the other country.

Common Conditions / Procedures/Treatments

  • Schizophrenia

    Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that affects about 1% of the general population.… More

  • Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression

    This is a mood disorder in which both depressive (persistent low mood) and manic (elevated or high mood) episodes are experienced.… More

  • Depression

    Depression is a mood disorder. Emotional states like sadness, ‘feeling blue’ or tearfulness are part of normal human experience.… More

  • Anxiety Disorders

    We all feel some anxiety at some time or other.… More

  • Medicines Info: Clozapine (Clozaril)

    Click on the link below for consumer information on Clozapine (Clozaril), a medicine sometimes prescribed for treating symptoms of schizophrenia.   … More

  • Recovery

    Recovery is the guiding principle of care provided at Te Whetu Tawera (TWT).  Recovery means living well in the presence – or absence – of mental illness and the many losses that can come in the wake of mental illness.  Recovery is supported at TWT by: working with our service users to… More

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Visiting Hours

10am - 7pm Monday - Friday - during COVID by appointment only - phone 09 307 4945

12noon - 8pm Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays - during COVID by appointment only - phone 09 307 4945

Visiting outside these hours is by arrangement with the Charge Nurse. Visitors to the Intensive Care Unit are asked to arrange a specific visiting time with the Charge Nurse or Duty Manager.

In order to help keep service users safe, visitors may be asked to discuss any items they want to leave with services with the nurse before bringing them into the ward.

Te Whetu Tawera is a smoke-free environment. Please do not bring cigarettes or other tobacco products into the hospital. 


The only refreshments available at Te Whetu Tawera, apart from patient meals, are from vending machines in the lobby. Click here for refreshment information for the main hospital building.

Public Transport

Click here for information on public transport.

Get directions


Click here for Carpark information.

Parking is also available across the road from the Unit in the Auckland Domain. Parking in the Domain is time-limited and is charged at current Auckland City Council rates.


The safety of service users is a critical concern.  The introduction of alcohol is forbidden and the use of illegal drugs will be dealt with as a police matter.

Contact Details

Auckland City Hospital

Central Auckland

To contact the Community Acute Service (Crisis Teams): 0800 800 717 - this is a 24-hour phone line

To contact Te Whetu Tawera switchboard - direct dial 09 307 4945

Building 35
Auckland City Hospital
Park Road

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Street Address

Building 35
Auckland City Hospital
Park Road

Postal Address

Te Whetu Tawera
Building 35
Park Road, Grafton
Private Bag 92 024
Auckland, New Zealand

This page was last updated at 1:49PM on December 20, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Auckland DHB Adult Acute Mental Health Unit - Te Whetu Tawera.