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Counties Manukau Health Taunaki & Te Puawaitanga (Child and Adolescent Mental Health)

Public Service, Mental Health


8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.


Update: Our community told us we need to make some changes. In response, we are improving the way mental health services work with you. We want to assure you we will talk with all service users and their whaanau about how changes might affect their care. If you have any questions please talk to your mental health clinician.

Taunaki (meaning to cultivate and reinforce) and Te Puawaitanga (meaning "the seed has blossomed") are the two specialist mental health services for children and young people living in the Counties Manukau region. We provide a variety of specialised treatment options aimed at children, young people and their families/whaanau.

At Taunaki and Te Puawaitanga (formerly known as Whirinaki) we know that every child and young person we see is part of a family/whaanau and community, with many significant adults in their lives. We work closely with the schools, community, church and extended family to provide the best support possible to young people and their whaanau.

For information on mental health services for people aged 18 and over visit Counties Manukau Health Adult Mental Health

Who Are We?

At Taunaki and Te Puawaitanga provide support to young people aged 4-18 years and their families.

Our staff come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and include:

  • Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Developmental Paediatricians
  • Social Workers
  • Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Alcohol & Drug Clinicians       
  • Child & Family Therapists
  • Cultural Advisors
  • Eating Disorder Liaison Clinicians

Other services we work closely with include:

Who Do We Help?

We help children, young people and their families/whaanau experiencing significant behavioural concerns, psychological concerns and emotional distress, when these concerns can no longer be managed by the services within their community. We support young people and families with significant concerns that require urgent help, and will assist potential service users to access treatment or support from other providers if needed.

Taunaki and Te Puawaitanga have been formed from the service formerly known as Whirinaki. These two teams work closely together to provide customised support for the diverse communities living in Counties Manukau.

Where Will You See Us?

We see children, young people and their families/whaanau in a variety of locations to best meet their needs. Young people may be chosen for a particular team depending on where they require support.

Our two main clinics are in the following locations:

  • Te Puawaitanga are located at Whirinaki, 7 Springs Road, East Tāmaki
  • Taunaki are located at Matariki, 492 Great South Road, Ōtāhuhu

We may also see service users at other clinics, schools, community venues and at home.

How Do We Help?

We offer young people and their families supports tailored to their needs. Care plans may include:

  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Therapeutic Storytelling Intervention
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
  • Sensory Modulation
  • Group Therapy
  • Support for Families and Whaanau
  • Medication

Family/ Whaanau and other important people are welcome to participate in any appointments.

Further Help

If you or someone you know has concerns about mental health there are a number of services you can contact, including:

For urgent after-hours support please contact 0800 775 222, or phone (09) 265 4000 at any time.
If you need immediate help call 111.

Referral Expectations

 We accept referrals for children, young people or young adults who: 

  • Are experiencing significant problems and emotional distress which cannot be managed within local community resources
  • Live most of the week in Counties Manukau area, including staying at boarding school
  • Are a New Zealand resident or are eligible for publicly funded healthcare

We receive referrals from a variety of health professionals and community services, please contact us to discuss any concerns.

Referral Process

  • General Practitioners: Please complete and submit the eReferral form which can be found on Medtech and My Practice
  • Other Referrers: Contact the Triage Team at (09) 265 4000 if you would like to discuss the referral or ask any questions about our service
  • Current or imminent care and protection concerns should be referred to Oranga Tamariki: Ministry for Vulnerable Children (previously Child Youth and Family services)

For urgent after-hours support please contact 0800 775 222, or phone (09) 265 4000 at any time.
If you need immediate help call 111.

Kotahi Ra

After your referral is accepted, a clinician will contact you to arrange an initial appointment called a Kotahi Ra. In this appointment (or appointments) we will talk to you and your whaanau about your concerns, develop shared goals and decide how we may help.

If English is your second language we can arrange an interpreter, please let us know before your first appointment. Maaori or Pacific Island cultural support is also available. You may also like to bring a support person to help in this meeting, such as your Kaumātua, Pastor or friend.


There is no charge for this service for New Zealand residents.


8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Mon – Fri8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

If you need urgent help outside these hours please ring 0800 775 222


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Free parking available on-site.

Contact Details


South Auckland

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

More details…

This page was last updated at 9:24AM on December 17, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Counties Manukau Health Taunaki & Te Puawaitanga (Child and Adolescent Mental Health).