He Kakano Ahau

He Kakano Ahau is an innovative new way of supporting the mental health of young people in our communities.

The service aims to achieve better support for young people, decrease taitamariki and whānau distress, increase developmental and culturally appropriate care, and reduce the stigma of mental health problems for taitamariki. 

It’s available to young people between the ages of 12 and 24. Taitamariki are at the greatest risk of developing mental health issues because of the rapid changes that occur at this stage of life.

The key to our approach is early detection, comprehensive assessment and intervention, delivered in a safe and culturally appropriate space.

Our values

Our values highlight the importance of empathy and considering how taitamariki feel when accessing the service. They are:

  • Tino Uaratanga – Recognising the potential of each taitamariki
  • Wairua – Acknowledging wairua-based practices to restore and enhance hauora
  • Aroha – Demonstrating compassion and understanding throughout our mahi
  • Whakapapa – Valuing the power of knowing where we come from
  • Rangatiratanga – Listening to the individual needs of taitamariki and empowering them to make choices for themselves
  • Whanaungatanga – Meaningful connection to others and self
  • Te Reo – Embracing Te Reo Māori
  • Manaakitanga – Helping others in need and valuing the inner reward it brings
  • Oriteranga – All people are of equal worth and entitled to equal respect.

These values derive from the Northland Youth Health Services framework, Te Ūkaipo.

Service delivery

He Kakano Ahau services are delivered by seven teams across the rohe, with the support of: Ngāti Hine Health Trust, Whangārei Youth Space, Te Runanga o Whaingaroa, Te Ha Oranga, Ki A Ora Ngātiwai, Hokianga Health, and Te Hiku Hauora. Each team provides support through youth nurses, mental health professionals, youth workers, youth wellness clinicians, and health improvement practitioners. 

Accessing the service

He Kakano Ahau uses an ‘any door is the right door’ approach for people to access the service, which can include self-referral or referral from another health and wellbeing care provider.

There are no fees charged or ‘criteria’ for taitamariki to access the service.  

If you’re a health care practitioner, you can refer taitamariki to He Kakano Ahau through the primary mental health pathways.

If you’re a parent or caregiver, you can access the service for your taitamariki by contacting Mahitahi Hauora. Our triage nurse will be available to speak to you.

We are developing a telephone hotline for young people to receive free, confidential, non-judgemental support when they need it.