The Great Barrier Island Community Health Trust was established in 1987 with the purpose of fundraising for a medical centre at Claris, near the main airstrip. It became a legally Incorporated Charitable Trust in 1988.
Prior to this date the General Practitioner worked from a caravan outside his home with his lounge as the waiting room. The island had no X-ray machine, ECG, or adequate medical emergency equipment. Professionally the health team were unable to provide first class health care without such facilities.
After much discussion fund-raising began in earnest. Two years later the Trust was fortunate to be given a substantial grant from the ASB Community Trust, as well as a four bedroom house from the Auckland Hospital Board. This was barged over to the island and placed on Department of Conservation land beside the airstrip at Claris.
In 1990 the original goal was met when the Community Health Centre was officially opened by the Governor General Sir Paul Reeves.