About us

Who we are, what we do, strategy and governance.

The High and Complex Needs (HCN) Unit supports whānau (including kin and non-kin caregivers) with children and young people who have high and complex needs. Working with multiple government and non-government agencies, we help whānau to find positive solutions.

Established by cabinet in 2001, the HCN Unit was formed to address serious service gaps and enhance collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and local agencies.

The HCN Unit is made up of a number of professional and specialist staff based all around New Zealand. HCN Unit staff and services are coordinated through our host ministry – Oranga Tamariki. The HCN Specialists engage with whānau and collaborate with local support teams to develop and deliver individualised client-focused plans for children and young people

Our governance protocol

A Governance Protocol was agreed to by the Ministries of Health, Education and Social Development in 2007 and remains current today. The Protocol sets out how the HCN Interagency Strategy will be governed, including:

  • governance and management roles
  • responsibilities of each agency, including Oranga Tamariki as host agency
  • dispute resolution.

Interagency strategy

The Interagency Strategy addresses the needs of children and young people with high and complex needs. At a national level, the HCN Unit supports collaboration with resources and advice.

The vision is to improve outcomes for children and young people with high and complex needs through effective interagency collaboration by:

  • fostering collaboration between agencies
  • improving the effectiveness of interventions
  • building agency capability.

Published: October 29, 2021