The Great Barrier Island Community Health Trust was established in 1987 and was registered as an Incorporated Charitable Trust in 1988. Fundraising then began in earnest, the goal being the construction of a medical centre at Claris. At this time the General Practitioner worked from a caravan outside his home using his lounge as the waiting room. The island had no X-ray machine, ECG monitor or adequate medical emergency equipment. Professionally the health team were unable to provide first class health care without such equipment nor a facility to operate from.

Community Health Centre Claris

In early 1990 The Trust was fortunate to receive a substantial grant from the ASB Community Trust and was also gifted a large house surplus to requirements from the Auckland Area Health Board. This was barged over to the island and placed on Department of Conservation land beside the airstrip at Claris. The building project then commenced.

Nurses Cottage – Port Fitzroy

The Nurses Cottage was originally built in 1954 as combined clinic and accommodation for the then Public Health Nurse employed by the Auckland Hospital Board. In 1995 the Auckland Area Health Board donated the cottage to the Health Trust. Improvement projects have been undertaken over the years.

The Trust is as committed to the health / well-being of island people and the provision of appropriate state of the art medical equipment and facilities as it was in 1988. Through 30 years of change; increasing sophistication in medicine, and the shifts in the island’s demographic, the Trust has a vision and a mission, the implementation of the vision to achieve the mission, is always being revised; projected to future plans, and new directions in health delivery.

Mr Gordon Davies representing Ngati Rehua (left), Sir Paul Reeves (center), and Mrs Jean Sanderson cutting the ribbon at the opening of the Health Center, 20th October 1990.