We will develop this section of our website over time and bring members interesting information and links related to health services in Auckland and health issues around Down syndrome generally.

Child development teams

Each DHB across Auckland offers a Child Development team for children with disabilities. Generally, this team will oversee your child’s health and wellbeing from birth to 5 years old.

You should be linked into your local child development team via your lead healthcare provider, however, referrals can be made by parent and caregivers, community workers, medical or educational personnel. If your baby is well and has no health issues at birth you may not be referred to the Child Development Team until later on (for example at the 6-week check). If you are not referred for any reason you can contact the Child Development Team in your area to make a referral yourself.

The Child Development team will provide assessment and services across the following areas – physical development, learning, speech and language, feeding, specialized equipment. The team includes community health workers, dietitians, OT’s, physiotherapists, SLT’s and social workers.

While the Child Development team will oversee your child until age 5, approaching pre-school age the Child Development team will link in with Group Special Education to ensure coordination and access to education services, early childhood educators and support workers.

Auckland  child development teams

Auckland Child Development Team, 214 Green Lane West, One Tree Hill or phone (09) 639 0213.

Starship Paediatric Community Child Health and Disability Service
Child development team website»

Counties Manukau (Kidz First Child Development team), 95 Wiri Station Road, Manukau or phone (09) 263 0792 (extension 0)
Kidz First child development service website»

Waitakere/North Shore/Rodney Child Development team

West child development team | Phone: 09 837 6624

North child development team | Phone: 09 447 0100

Rodney child development team | Phone: 09 422 2700

Waitemata DHB Child Development Services website»

Child’s Play OT

Child’s Play OT is a small paediatric private OT clinic. They specialise in Sensory Integration (SI) for children and adults that struggle with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Some of the issues that may be present are:

  • fine motor issues
  • gross motor issues
  • pre-writing and handwriting issues
  • visual perception issues
  • self-care issues
  • problems with emotional control
  • anxiety and social stresses
  • difficulty in riding a bike or to swim
  • picky eaters
  • struggle with change
  • constantly moving
  • trouble concentrating and chew everything.

They see many children with Down syndrome as well as autism, dyspraxia, Asperger’s, cerebral palsy and ADD. They offer a Developmental screening test which is a 20-minute assessment of the child, to assess why they are being ‘left behind’ from their peers at school.

Disability Services: Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health provides and administers a wide variety of disability services. This includes needs assessment and co-ordination, behaviour support services, home and community services, respite and carer support, supported living, child development services and more. In Auckland, the main number for the Ministry of Health Disability Support Services is 09 580 9000.

Spectacles Subsidy

This subsidy is for the provision of Disability Support Services assistance for children 15 years and younger with vision problems in low-income families. The five areas that can be accessed under the subsidy are:

  • Examination
  • Frames
  • Lenses
  • Eye patches
  • Repairs

Optometrists or Ophthalmologists that are registered with Enable New Zealand will undertake the examination, the prescription, and the completion of the Spectacles Subsidy application form. The Spectacles Subsidy is paid directly to the provider of the examination or glasses. The provider then deducts the subsidy amount from their client’s account.  Email: moh.processing@enable.co.nz

Read more on eligibility criteria and subsidy amount on the Enable New Zealand website»

Ministry of Health Website – Disability Services»

Health Passport

What is a Health Passport?

A Health Passport is a booklet that you can carry with you when attending hospitals or other providers of health and disability services. A Health Passport contains information about how you want people to communicate with you and support you.

Introducing the Health Passport.

The Health and Disability Commissioner is working with District Health Boards (DHBs) throughout New Zealand to introduce the Health Passport into our hospitals.
There are now several DHBs where the Health Passport is fully integrated into use in hospitals as a key tool for patient care.

You can now take your health passport to your local hospital irrespective of the region you live in.

Getting the best out of your Health Passport (PDF)»

How do I get a Health Passport?

Go to the Health and Disability Commissioner website and download the passport you require.

Completing your Health Passport.

If you need assistance with completing the passport, ask your support person or a member of your family to help you. The guide to completing the passport provides helpful examples and explanations.

For further information, or to provide feedback on the Health Passport freephone: 0800 11 22 33; or email HealthPassport@hdc.org.nz.


Article: Immunisation by Karin Batty, Registered Nurse and Dr Marguerite Dalton, Paediatrician Immunisation Advisory Centre (PDF)

This article explains the National Immunisation Schedule and Special Programme vaccines people with Down syndrome can have for free. It also includes information on other vaccines that they or their parents can consider purchasing privately. Information about Outreach Immunisation Services also provided.

Nappies for children 4+ yrs

Children with an incontinence problem who are aged 4 to 10 years are entitled to free nappies. They are eligible if the incontinence problem is inconsistent with normal development, is represented by a urinary incontinence problem greater than 50mls per episode and more than 4 times a day, and/or they have a problem with bowel control. The Continence society has a database of continence providers in NZ with their contact details. You can get a GP or your public health nurse to refer you or you can self refer.

Ohomairangi Trust Early Intervention Service

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari, he toa takitini. Our achievements are not ours alone but belong to the many.

Ohomairangi Trust provides early intervention services across the Auckland region for children between 0-5 years who:

  • are developmentally delayed
  • have communication difficulties
  • experience behaviour difficulties
  • have a physical and/or cognitive disability
  • require social and/or emotional support

Children who require support in at least three of the areas above are able to access Ohomairangi Trust’s services.

Ohomairangi Trust is a Not-for-Profit organization that delivers its services using a kaupapa Maori approach. They are committed to working together with families to support children to reach their potential through participation in, and being included in, their communities. We aim to support whanau/families to make informed decisions, gain knowledge, skills and confidence and exercise tino rangitiratanga.

They welcome any family, Maori or non-Maori, who would like their support to be provided using a kaupapa Maori approach.

Ohomairangi Trust, 95, Wiri Station Rd, Manukau | 09 263 0798 | admin@ohomairangi.co.nz

Starship: Family Information Service

Starship Children’s Health provides a free service to families who are looking for information on children’s medical conditions and disabilities. The Family Information Service, located on Level Three of Starship near the Outpatient Department, is a free service that provides families/whanau/caregivers with up-to-date, easy-to-read consumer health information on children’s medical conditions and disabilities, including support group contact details.  As parents/caregivers and members of the extended family/whanau, you are welcome to use this free service. No referral is required, though health professionals may also request information on your behalf if you so wish. Information is available on:

  • Medical conditions and treatment
  • Disabilities, genetic conditions
  • Hospitalisation
  • Support groups
  • Coping with death and illness
  • Parenting issues relating to children with health problems or disabilities
  • Mental health issues

Phone Starship Family Information Sevice on 09 307 4955 or email ssfis@adhb.govt.nz


UpsideDowns provides funding for speech-language therapy for any child with Down syndrome from birth to age 18 in any part of New Zealand. We can fund 50-100% of the cost of seeing any NZSTA-registered speech-language therapist (SLT). You can access this funding in addition to any Ministry of Education SLT involvement. We have an average wait time of 3-6 months.

We fund speech-language therapy for kids with Down syndrome because we know it can make a huge difference, greatly increasing future independence and unlocking potential.

For further information, please contact info@upsidedowns.co.nz