(09) 420 7878 Helensville District Health Trust, 1 Porter Crescent, Helensville, 0840 In an emergency call 111

The History of the Helensville District Health Trust

In 1989, in response to impending closure, the Helensville Hospital Community Committee which had fought numerous battles to keep the local Maternity Hospital open, rallied to form the Trust.

After exploring all options to continue providing maternity services for the Helensville District, forming a Trust to operate these services appeared the only viable option left. The Trust was chaired by Mrs Alison McKenzie MNZM (who retired from the Trust and role of Chair in November 2009).

The initiative succeeded and the Trust pioneered New Zealand's first Birthing Unit. The Trust has enjoyed a long and close working relationship with Waitemata Health and recognises Waitemata Health as a strategic partner with ongoing representation on the Trust Board.

To the right you can expand each year of the Trust's history, where our core achievements have been summarised. You will find images and archival links to media exposure throughout this documented history.

Our Unique Success Factors

  • The HDHT has been persistent and proactive, recognising opportunities to improve and expand services. Strong leadership has also been a critical factor here. The Trust Board has been willing to take risks and pioneer the development and delivery of services. It has been focussed on achieving the right and best outcomes.
      
  • Inspirational leadership, expertise and experience provided by Management and a dedicated Board.
      
  • Community ownership of a strategic health site centrally located in the Helensville community.
      
  • Successful working relationships with Waitemata Health from inception along with Ngati Whatua Nga Rima supported by representation on the Trust Board.  Partnership with Unitec on projects, in particular Te Whare Oranga o Parakai.
      
  • Strong community commitment and representation, as evidenced by Te Whare Oranga o Parakai.

Critical Milestones

  • Established in August 1989, the Trust was formed by a number of key individuals who together with the wider community had been fighting the Obstetric Hospital Closure in Helensville for several years.  It has always been a forward thinking and innovative community Trust structure that has served the South Kaipara community well.  Quite visionary in its wider health brief and provided for the immediate transition to a Birthing Centre in 1989.
      
  • As a Trust we have pioneered the first Birthing Centre in NZ.  The Helensville Birthing Centre has established an amazing reputation and track record and it is fair to say it is the cornerstone of the Trust’s success.  It now operates at 90% plus occupancy and is truly regarded as the best in NZ and the envy of every rural community. 
      
  • The Trust acquired the old Doctors house from Drs Adrian and Maryanne Gane in the early 2000's. Sound planning and some nerves of steel with a lot of community goodwill prepared us for the $1.8 million building of the purpose built Kaipara Medical Centre.  This was completed and opened in 2007 allowing the Kaipara Medical Centre to once again open its books, expand and take on new clients.
      
  • In 2012 the Trust acquired 1 Porter Crescent in Helensville, a strategic site and asset negotiated in challenging market conditions!  We also began negotiations to buy the Kaipara Medical Centre and bring it back to local ownership.  A significant commercial undertaking supported by the WDHB and our local Solicitors – Sellars & Co.
      
  • In 2013 the Trust was most generously gifted the Parakai Tavern from the Parakai Licensing Trust – now Te Whare Oranga o Parakai.  This facility is now on a journey towards becoming a well being centre which will contribute to our vision.  In June 2014 we were successful in being awarded a $200k ASB Community Trust grant - critical to commencing the substantial rebuild / development due to commence in late 2014.

  • In June 2014 the Trust cleared the balance of the mortgage on the Commercial Road Health campus site – almost 2. 5 years ahead of schedule.  Now a freehold site and an incredible achievement for the Helensville District Health Trust.
  • Sue Miller takes over as General Manager following retirement of Charm Torrance
  • Erica McKenzie appointed as new Chairman of Helensville District Health Trust
  • Te Whare Oranga ō Parakai officially opens to the public on Saturday 28 March
  • South Kaipara Food Revolution Harvest Markets launch on the last Sunday of every month from 29 March
  • Kaipara Medical Centre offers free fees to all children aged under 13
  • Founding Trustee Dianne Kidd retires from the Health Trust after six years as Chairman and 26 consecutive years on the Trust
  • Restructured Kaipara Medical Centre opens under groundbreaking mixed community ownership model including shareholding from WDHB and resident doctors
  • Strategic Broker project successfully completed
  • Launch of Te Whare Oranga ō Parakai facility plans, brand and design to the community in conjunction with Unitec for the former Parakai Tavern
  • Application successful for the Department of Internal Affairs Community Development Scheme with Community Development Officer commencing work in April 2014
  • South Kaipara Food Revolution project commenced at Te Whare Oranga ō Parakai
  • Purchased and refurbished 1 Porter Crescent to house Helensville Women and Family Centre and antenatal services and clinics
  • Purchased Kaipara Medical Centre
  • Gifted the former Parakai Tavern by the Parakai Licensing Trust
  • Appointment of Steering Committee to direct the future use and renovation of former Parakai Tavern
  • Application to become a fund holder for the Department of Internal Affairs Community Development Scheme
  • Fundraising commenced for former Parakai Tavern project
  • Partnership established with Unitec to assist with architectural and landscape redesign of former Parakai Tavern site
  • Funded by Ministry of Social development to appoint a strategic broker for the Helensville South Kaipara region. Broker appointed April 2012
  • Prime Minister John Key opened ambulance ramp with screens designed by local artist Jeff Thomson
  • Michelle Nasey appointed as Birthing Centre Manager on retirement of Charm Torrance
  • Fundraised and commenced building of ambulance ramp for Kaipara Medical Centre
  • Funded by Ministry of Health to commence baby friendly community initiative in Helensville
  • Partnered with Peacemakers Trust to run workshops and establish community gardens
  • Birthing Centre has another record year
  • Suspensory Loan ($260,000) discharged off Mortgage by the Hon. Tony Ryall, Parakai Health opened
  • Opened satellite facilities at nearby Paraki for Iris home support, doctors and nurses from Kaipara Medical Centre and physiotherapists
  • Birthing Centre wins first prize in BFHI national competition for innovation in baby friendly activities
  • Helensville Trust Board members are invited to form the Board of Helensville Women and Family Centre, shared management is established
  • A health forum is held to discuss future plans for a Healthy Helensville, the concept of a Wellbeing Centre is born
  • The Meals on Wheels Service contract was terminated by Waitemata Health in September 2010. The six remaining clients were transferred to alternative local support services. An afternoon tea was held to recognise and thank the volunteers who have delivered meals in the local community for more than 30 years. It was the end of a wonderful service and era
  • Birthing Centre had record year with 368 patients using the facility
  • Negotiated the lease of shop in Parakai with future plans to open as a satellite health centre for Iris Support and Kaipara Medical Centre
  • Labtest opened facility (replaced Diagnostic Medlab)
  • Dianne Kidd elected as Chairman. Alison McKenzie retires
  • Installation of a generator to ensure uninterrupted power to all facilities
  • Focus on strategic planning and community based consultation to strengthen health partnerships and determine community based health initiatives for the future
  • Sold 30% shareholding in Focus Nor’ West Ltd to Focus 2000 Ltd
  • Official opening of the Kaipara Medical Centre
  • Restoration and opening of the Alison McKenzie Community House
  • HBC Baby Friendly Accreditation achieved
  • Full tenancy of all facilities including launch of Diagnostic Medlab services on site
  • Construction of purpose built facilities for GP practice and Medical Centre
  • Successful completion of fundraising and finance for project
  • Kaipara Medical Centre commenced full services in December 2006
  • Development of new Community Health Centre to incorporate GP practice, Te Ha and Diagnostic Medlab
  • Designs completed and Rodney Council application for Resource Consent granted
  • Project manager employed to oversee development
  • Community based fundraising commenced - target $1.8m
  • In conjunction with the Trust and Maori Health, Waitemata Health Te Puna o te Ora renovates their building to allow for increased demand on services
  • Purchase of the historic Doctor's residence - the Kaipara Medical Centre property completed
  • Birthing Centre firmly established as an accredited and successful community facility. Number of admissions has doubled since renovations
  • Building renovations completed. Birthing Unit now has a total of 5 beds, including 2 labour and 3 postnatal beds
  • Postnatal numbers start increasing on a monthly basis
  • Birthing Unit now called Birthing Centre
  • Approached by Kaipara Medical Centre to assist / purchase building, and possibility of building new rooms for the medical centre
  • Waitemata Health renovate their offices
  • Plans developed to purchase Kaipara Medical Centre property
  • Renovations commence
  • All services continue amongst the mayhem
  • Contracted granted for postnatal services by WDHB
  • ASB Community Trust awards the Trust to assist with renovations
  • Negotiate and obtain contract with Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB) for Birthing Unit to include postnatal services
  • Plans to renovate the Community Health Centre to include Birthing Unit with postnatal services, offices, community rooms and specified IT room to facilitate Rodney Learning
  • The Trust acquired Helensville Community Health Property
  • Merged Nor’West Home Care Services with Focus 2000 Ltd. Thirty percent shareholding for HDHT in Focus Nor’West Ltd
  • Mrs Alison McKenzie awarded MNZM in recognition for her services to the Helensville community in health
  • Application for funding to acquire the Helensville Community Health Property under the Community Trust Assistance Scheme applied for and accepted in October 1998. A Suspensory Loan ($260,000) granted
  • Application to HFA for new initiatives Service Integration declined
  • Waitemata Health confirms intention to exit the Helensville Community Health property
  • The Trust canvases community support for role of the Trust and intention to exercise right of purchase as per lease agreement
  • The Trust runs a monthly advertising campaign to raise awareness in the community and The Trust role and responsibilities
  • Full and strong community support at October AGM for the Trust and endorsement of Mission Statement
  • Consultation with the community re: existing consumer health needs and future directions
  • Funding assistance received to fit out the Nor'West Home Care Services offices and computerise (funding from RHA)
  • Contract from RHA granted six months for management time for the following: Birthing Unit, Meals on Wheels (MOW) and Nor'West Home Care Services
  • Trust plan application for Community Trust Assistance Scheme
  • Variation to Section 51 Health & Disability Act introduced with particular impact on maternity services challenging the viability of the Birthing Unit
  • Plans developed to maintain viability
  • MOW receives a price increase which will gradually bring Helensville in line with other MOW service providers and Crown Health Enterprises (CHE) requirements
  • Waitemata Health confirm right of renewal as Trust tenants
  • Primary Health needs assessment for Helensville area undertaken by North Health
  • Waitemata Health’s first indication that they intend to exit maternity services and the building in Helensville
  • Application and awarded Transitional Funding Assistance to carry out feasibility study to establish whether the Trust should buy the hospital property
  • Nor'West Home Care Services expand and a part-time administrator is appointed
  • The Trust appoints Manager to assist the Trust
  • License sought for the Birthing Unit through AHB, declined as Waitemata Health deemed as licensee
  • Appointment of Birthing Unit Manager
  • Regional Health Authority (RHA) undertakes research and results identify Helensville as a ‘high needs area’
  • Quality Assurance Plan for Birthing Unit and Home Care 60’s developed
  • Name change from Home Care 60’s to Norwest Home Care Services under the Trust. An administrator and a coordinator are appointed to assist with Norwest Home Care Services
  • A second fully equipped and self contained room for the Birthing Unit is completed as well as a new bathroom constructed for the Birthing Unit
  • Community Care scheme for the Birthing Unit established
  • The Trust secures Rodney Learning Centre as a tenant
  • Helensville Lion’s Club commences construction of courtyard for Birthing Unit (all voluntary help)
  • The Trust takes over responsibility for the Home Care 60’s contract from Peacemaker Trust
  • The Trust prepares and publishes first brochure for the Helensville Birthing Unit
  • A qualified health consultant is contracted to consult to the Trust on its activities and future options
  • Opening of AHB's Te Puna ō te Ora - Maori Health Unit
  • Trust Deed for the establishment of the Helensville District Health Trust formed
  • Lease agreement with Auckland Area Health Board (AHB) commenced
    NZ Herald, 17 August 1989 'Helensville wins hospital fight'

    Rodney & Waitemata Times, 15 August 1989 'Hospital staying open'
  • Opening of the Helensville Birthing Unit
  • Meals on Wheels funding granted to the Trust
  • Part of building renovated and leased to Physiotherapist

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