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Whirinaki Child, Family and Youth Mental Health

Public Service



Whirinaki (meaning to support) is a specialist mental health service 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 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?

Whirinaki Child, Family and Youth Mental Health services are made up of a variety of teams, all of whom support young people and their families.

Our services include:

  • Mental Health Services for children under 4 years and their families, (including Maternal Mental Health and Infant Mental Health teams)
  • Child & Youth Mental Health Services for young people aged 4-18 years
  • He Kaakano (Maaori Mental Health Team) now moved to 6/17 Lambie Drive, Manukau
  • Vaka Toa (Pacific Mental Health Team) now moved to 492 Great South Road, Otahuhu
  • Early Psychosis Intervention Team for young people 16-30 years.

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 Clinician        
  • Child & Family Therapists
  • Cultural Advisors
  • Eating Disorder Liaison Clinicians
  • Youth Consumer Advisor
  • Youth Health Information Specialist

We see children, young people and their families/whaanau at our clinics at 7 Springs Road. We may also see service users at other clinics, schools, community venues and at home.

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.

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 Story Telling 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.

Want To Find Out More?

For more information please see our Whirinaki Service Brochure

Further information on Whirinaki services can be found at the following websites:

For information on the other mental health services provided in Counties Manukau Health visit Counties Manukau Health Adult Mental Health and Counties Manukau Health Koropiko (Mental Health Services for Older People)

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.

Further Help

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

If you would like to talk to someone with lived experience of mental health and or addictions about your concerns contact our Peer TALK phoneline on 0800 234 432 (5pm-Midnight, 7 days). Note: Peer Talk supports adults over 18. If you are under 18 contact Youthline on 0800 37 66 33.

For more information on community support services and issues related to mental health, visit our Useful Links page.


Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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

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 Whirinaki 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 Kaumatua, Pastor or friend.


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

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Free parking available on-site.

Contact Details


South Auckland

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

3rd Floor
7 Springs Road
East Tamaki

Entrance off East Tamaki Road

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Street Address

3rd Floor
7 Springs Road
East Tamaki

Entrance off East Tamaki Road

Postal Address

PO Box 217198
Botany Junction
Auckland 2164

This page was last updated at 11:59AM on October 10, 2017. This information is reviewed and edited by Whirinaki Child, Family and Youth Mental Health.