Assessment of Whangaroa Health Services Trust: Summary Report | Northland DHB

Assessment of Whangaroa Health Services Trust: Summary Report

Update - 22 July 2019

Northland DHB have been working with Whangaroa Health Services Trust (WHST),  Te Tai Tokerau PHO, and more recently, Mahitahi Hauora (Northland’s new Primary Health Entity) through a collaborative process known as the Interim Action Committee (IAC).  

The IAC has been tasked with finding a suitable solution that provides the whānau of Whangaroa with high quality and zero-cost access to primary care services.  There has been significant discussion and progress made by the IAC, who wish to engage with the public, whānau and stakeholders to hear feedback on a proposed way forward. 

We are holding a joint a public hui for stakeholders and the community on 31 July 2019 at 7pm at Kaeo Community Hall.  There will be a marae hui on 1 August at 11am at Karangahape Marae, Matangirau.

At the hui, colleagues from Northland DHB, WHST and Mahitahi Hauora will be looking to hear feedback on a proposed way forward.  We welcome your attendance at either or both hui.

Update – 29 January 2019

Northland District Health Board, the Whangaroa Health Services Trust and Te Tai Tokerau PHO are still working together to put in place the plan to have a new provider for doctor and nurses services.  The process which will choose the new provider has now been agreed, and helping to make the decision will be representatives from the community.  It is planned that the process will formally start in the first week of February, with a new provider identified by the end of March. 

Whangaroa Health Services Trust is planning on holding a community meeting at the end of February, and there will be representatives of Northland District Health Board attending at their invitation.  The Trust will be sharing more information on this throughout the community with a date and time.  It will be held at the community hall in Kaeo.

Here is a short video produced by Northland District Health Board that explains how services in Kaeo will work in the future from the beginning of July 2019.

Update – 16 November 2018

The Chairperson, Grant Lane has conveyed to Northland DHB a strong sense of rejection from the 100 or so attendees over Northland DHB’s decision.  We are appreciative of the Board of Trustees discharging their duty to challenge Northland DHB and represent the views of their local community. 

This statement is released for the interim period whilst Northland DHB continues to work with the Trust via the Interim Action Committee.

Northland DHB decided a model that took into consideration the wide and varying community feedback.  It represents compromises to all parties; DHB, community and the Trust.

Northland DHB is accountable to the health outcomes of all Whangaroa residents, including ensuring that the organisations in which it funds have proper governance and financial stop checks in place. 

Whangaroa community has not had the levels of service that the community nor Northland DHB would expect to be delivered.  The poor financial management processes and impending financial collapse of the Trust compelled Northland DHB to directly intervene.  It did not take this decision lightly, and continues to work collaboratively with the Trust to implement a solution that the local community deserves.

The decision made:

  • Promises to the Trust the full $1.3m of annual additional investment to organise the health services of the community and negotiate a new contract to deliver services
  • Enables the Trust to retain independence and overtime rebuild its financial resources
  • Provides doctor services from professional organisation that can deliver fit for purpose, modern doctor services that meet the community needs
  • Maximises the chance that doctor services will be available to the community when needed, and reduces the risk of having no doctors employed at all in the future
  • Continues to grow the relationship between Whangaroa Health Services Trust and Northland DHB to reduce the risk of collapse in the future, and protect valuable and vital health services in Kaeo.

No one wants to see the current situation repeat itself in the future.  The residents, tangata whenua, and whānau of Whangaroa deserve the very best primary care (doctors, nurses & allied health) services.  The decision made by Northland DHB provides the community with the highest chance of success by installing a reputable primary care service that is professional, approachable and community focussed.

Northland DHB believes that despite the best efforts and intentions of Whangaroa Health Services Trust, it does not have the experience, resources or capabilities to oversee delivery of primary care services in a sustainable and safe manner.  This has been demonstrated on several occasions in the past few years, with the culmination of all the doctors resigning.  Therefore, the DHB cannot implement a model with the Trust directly or indirectly for the provision of primary care services.  

Northland DHB will work with the Trust and the new provider to ensure through contractual obligations that there are processes implemented that requires the new provider to work collaboratively with the Trust.

If you have any questions please email –
Update - 21 October 2018


Northland District Health Board commissioned an independent review into Whangaroa Health Services Trust with Ernst & Young, which provided two recommendations on a way forward.  The two options were:

  • Option A: A Strengthened Status Quo provided by Whangaroa Health Services Trust Option B: Whangaroa Health Services Trust remains property owner and Aged Residential Care operator with a new provider of primary health care and rural health services

Northland District Health Board, Whangaroa Health Services Trust and Te Tai Tokerau Primary Health Organisation undertook seven hui across the Whangaroa Rohe, and invited feedback on the options provided.

Approximately 300 responses were received, with 66 percent in favour of retaining Whangaroa Health Services Trust as provider of services under option A.


The Board of Northland DHB reviewed the two Ernst & Young options.  Feedback from the community resulted in a decision to adopt a combination of the two options that were presented.

It was clear to Northland DHB that the community wished to retain ownership over the way that their healthcare is delivered, however, the community also wanted timely and accessible GP services with greater accountability and transparent governance. 

Northland DHBs priority of ensuring that the Whangaroa community have accessible, high quality doctors and nurses services has led to a decision to implement a model that is a mix of different elements to best serve the people of Whangaroa.

The elements are:

  • Whangaroa Health Services Trust retain Aged Residential Care facility – Kauri Lodge and the rural health services

  • Funding from Northland DHB is being increased slightly

  • The parties are working together to identify an alternative provider of GP services to be delivered from the Kaeo rural health centre

  • There will be a new integrated  health and social care contract delivered by Whangaroa Health Services Trust to the community – designed in consultation with the community

  • All services (excluding aged residential care) purchased by Northland DHB via Te Tai Tokerau PHO, will ensure a single point of oversight for the delivery of all primary health services in Whangaroa

  • The governance and management structure for Whangaroa Health Services Trust will be enhanced – our aim is to design a governance structure in consultation with the community that better meets their needs.

Further Consultation Meetings

The Whangaroa Health Services Trust Board of Trustees invites you to engage with them in further consultation on the implications of the DHB decision.  A first meeting is scheduled for:

  • Wednesday 7 November
  • 5.30pm-7.30pm
  • Kaeo Memorial Hall – Leigh Street, Kaeo.

All three organisations continue to work together collaboratively to ensure that the whānau of Whangaroa have access to high quality services. It is envisaged that the new services will commence in 2019.  A detailed timeline will be developed in the coming few weeks and will be made available on this website page. 

Northland DHB has also committed to a small increase in funding for Whangaroa Health Services Trust over the next six months.  The Interim Action Committee will evolve to oversee the project implementation.

If you would like to provide feedback please email:


How can I provide feedback?
  • Click here to email your feedback
  • You are also invited to attend one of the community huis and meetings being held across Whangaroa. You do not need to confirm attendance or inform us that you wish to attend.



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