Ko te uaratanga
– Our mission
To empower women through the provision of:
- A safe and welcoming environment
- High quality standards of care
- Respecting women, whānau and families of all culture
- Evidence based information that supports decision making
The first of its kind in New Zealand
Maternity care in Te Awaroa, Helensville has a century-old proud history.
1900s to 1940s – Where it all started.
It all began in the early 1900s when a local doctor built a small, private hospital in Garfield Road. In the 1920s, a new hospital was built at 110 Commercial Road, now known as Malolo.
Using this privately owned facility came at a price. That’s because, from 38 weeks’ pregnant, women would leave their families and stay in or near Helensville. And in the 1930s, a stay at Malolo would set you back £18, six times the amount of a stay at St Helens maternity hospital in Auckland.
In 1940, the Auckland Hospital Board took over the control of Malolo. Sixteen years later, the newly built Helensville Obstetric Hospital opened at its current address on Commercial Road.
1989 – A milestone year: Helensville District Health Trust is born.
In the late 1980s the hospital board had been threatening to close Helensville’s hospital doors for several years. Despite passionately fighting against this move, the Helensville Hospital Committee couldn’t stop the hospital closing in 1989.
But all was not lost. Thanks to the sheer hard work of the local community, the maternity facilities were kept open.
1989 was the start of a new era, as the Helensville District Health Trust (HDHT) was born. One of the first things it did was transform part of the old hospital into a birthing unit – proudly the first of its kind in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Although the birthing unit was not permanently staffed, lead maternity carer (LMC) midwives and GPs used the space to support women to birth their babies. Women and their support person could stay up to 24 hours and their LMC would visit them as needed. There were no postnatal staff, but there was a live-in caretaker. Each year saw 40-50 women use the birthing unit.
Early 2000s – The start of the primary maternity facility you see today.
The HDHT negotiated a contract with the Waitematā District Health Board (WDHB) in 2000. From there, our centre began providing postnatal stays with 24-hour care provided by registered nurses and midwives.
Three years later, our centre was renovated to its current layout of a birthing room with a very popular birthing pool and four comfortable postnatal stay rooms.
Today – It’s all about the community.
If there’s one thing that ties our story together, it’s our community. Over the years, our centre has continued to support, and be supported by, South Kaipara locals and is proudly owned by the people of Te Awaroa, Helensville.
HDHT is a charity with a vision to deliver the best possible health services for people in South Kaipara. At our centre, cost is not a barrier to care, and women and whānau don’t have to worry about being alone. As our services are free, partners can stay for the entire time, and the newborn’s siblings can visit.
Due to the popularity of our Birthing Centre, it’s now run by a separate board of directors who report to the HDHT. Our Birthing Centre has evolved to what it is today, and we’ve grown the services we provide – including breastfeeding support and pregnancy and parenting classes.
Helensville Birthing Centre has gained an amazing reputation because of our expert, respectful, and empowering care.
On 19 August 2019, we welcomed our 1,000th baby born at the centre since 2000 – the year we became a primary birthing centre.
Our future – Kind to people. Kind to the planet.
We continue to back locals – not just families but local businesses, too. Any profits we make go back to the community.
We also care about making sustainable choices – including using worm bins, local caterers, and cloth nappies – to benefit your whānau and the planet now and into the future.
We look forward to welcoming you, your pēpi and whānau to the centre. It is a real privilege to look after you.