Community Worker Project
With the population base too small to support local and central government services, and in response to the urgent needs expressed by residents, the Community Worker Project was established under the auspices of the Great Barrier Island Community Health Trust in 1990.
The Community Worker (CW) / kaimahi hapori provides a focal point for residents; Te kaimahi hapori is here to help residents to navigate appropriate communication / liaison as needed to government departments or other agencies from time to time. One of the strengths of the Community Worker Project (CWP) is that it has no religious, political or ethnic partiality and it is a confidential and independent service. The position, conceived as a multi-dimensional service in recognition of all the challenges faced by te hapori o te Motu Aotea, continues to respond to new social challenges fostering resilience and wellbeing within this isolated community.
In 2014 the CWP committed to regular outreach to North Barrier and employed a second worker, this provided increased flexibility across the myriad services offered through the CWP. The regular hours were therefore increased from 40 to 50 pw, undertaken as 2 part time positions.
In September 2019 the CWP was moved to to the Aotea Family Support Group Trust who are now responsible for continuing the work into the future.
In September 2019 the Health Trust created a new social service role, the Health Navigator, to support patients travelling to public secondary healthcare and to manage the Health Trust Office. This important role is well championed by this remote community and is considered invaluable.