2 October 2023

Free Walk in Clinic 

Kia ora koutou, 

From today, 2 October 2023, Tōtara Health will be running a free walk in clinic for mama with children. The walk in clinic will be run from our Flaxmere site, but open to enrolled patients from Nelson Street or Flaxmere. Come and see one of our nurses from 9:00am - 4:00pm Monday - Friday to assist you or your tamariki with: 

  • Immunisations
  • Skin care -
    • Eczema
    • Boils
    • Rashes
  • Initial pregnancy consults
  • Advice and support to care for your pepi. 


Nga mihi nui, 

The team at Tōtara Health 




12 September 2023

Self-swabbing - Cervical Screening 

Kia ora koutou, 

The new cervical screening self-test is here and it's a game changer!

Cervical screening looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes most cervical cancers. You can do the test yourself in clinic, or you can ask for help to get it done. By having regular screening and being immunised against HPV, you can protect yourself against cervical cancer. 

If your friends or whānau are eligible for screening, let them know about the cervical screening self-test option. It's quick, and easy and might just save their life. 

For more information, go to or contact the practice to book you or your whānau in.

Nga mihi, the team at Tōtara Health



15 May 2023

Funding for Rangatahi 14 - 24 years 

Kia ora koutou, 

We have some good news to share. From 1 May 2023, rangatahi (young people) aged between 14 and 24 years of age will receive funded (free) standard Doctor and Nurse appointments. 

The funding from Te Whatu Ora also includes zero fees for all funded prescription items when patients are collecting their prescriptions from the pharmacy.

This is great news for our community as it means all patients 24 years and under will be able to access the Doctor and Nurse for standard appointments at no cost. 

Nga mihi,

The team at Tōtara Health



1 March 2023

Phone Triage Update

Kia ora koutou, 

As some of you may already be aware, there is a global shortage of doctors, a New Zealand national shortage and a Hawkes Bay wide shortage of doctors. This problem is not going to be fixed anytime soon.  We think it will take at least 10 years (probably longer) to fix this problem.

In March 2023 we are due to lose two further doctors as two of our international GP’s return to their home countries with their families at the end of their contracts. We have been unable to replace these two doctors yet.

We have to make some significant changes to enable us to continue to provide great medical care for you all as enrolled patients and for us to be able to provide that care in a timely way.

We know that there is a lot of healthcare work that our doctors currently provide that can be provided by other health professionals working for Tōtara Health.  If this work is completed by other capable members of the team, our doctors can focus on the work that only they have the skills and qualifications to do.

We have 15 highly trained and highly skilled Registered Nurses, four of these Nurses are qualified prescribers with three more of the team doing their prescriber training this year. We have a Nurse Practitioner, and one further Nurse doing training this year to become a Nurse Practitioner. We have a Clinical Pharmacist prescriber and two other Clinical Pharmacists doing their pharmacist prescriber training this year. We have two counsellors, Health Improvement Practitioners, a Health Navigator and four Health Coaches/Kaiawhina. All of these capable, wonderful staff are here to support you.  

From 6 March 2023, when you call our practice, you will be given new options. These include:

  • Option 1 to request a repeat prescription or urgent repeat prescription by leaving a voice message for our staff.
  • Option 2 to request an appointment by leaving a voice message for our staff.
  • Option 3 to speak with one of our Receptionists.

All requests for an appointment will be triaged by one of our Registered Nurses. You will get a text acknowledging your voice message and one of our Nurses will call you back to discuss what you want an appointment for and establish who in our team of health professionals can provide the healthcare service that you need. Often it will be someone other than a doctor who can assist you with your needs. This will provide you with quicker access to health care.

We have to make these changes.

We will need your support as we work through this process and find new ways to support our Tōtara whānau. If you have any feedback or questions about this, please email our email address and we will call you.

Thank you, the team at Tōtara Health



8 February 2023 

Women 30 and Under - Funding Changes 


Kia ora koutou,

From Monday, 13 February 2023, the cost of Doctor and Nurse appointments for females 18 years and over will increase to $19.50. Doctor and Nurse appointments for male and females aged 14 to 17 years old will now cost $13.00.  

For over 6 years we have been able to make Doctor and Nurse consultations free for women 15 to 30 years old.  We have paid for this from our own Tōtara Health resources without receiving any funding from the Government, District Health Board (now Te Whatu Ora) or Ministry of Health sources.   We have loved being able to do this as we know that for many young women, particularly young women with children, life is challenging and this has been something that we are sure has helped a lot of people.

We are sorry that we cannot continue to provide this free care any more.

The funding we get from the Government right now does not cover the cost of providing the services that we do.

The Government knows that our General Practice is grossly underfunded for the need that exists within our community. The Government  asked for a report to be prepared on the funding of General Practice, which they received from Sapere Consulting group in July 2022. The report said “Overall, funding  for General Practice  is problematic for a number of reasons, but the core issue is that funding does not align with patient need. This means that services that have a higher than average proportion of people with high health need are not funded adequately to deliver care to their patients.  This is a serious deficiency in a core part of New Zealand’s health system”

When the Government improves our funding levels, then we will look again at what we can do to reduce the healthcare cost for young women with children enrolled with Tōtara Health.

If money is a barrier and you feel you do not have the money to access healthcare for yourself when you need it, please email and we will do our best to assist you.

Thank you, the team Tōtara Health



 12 December 2022

We're Hiring!

We have several roles available across our busy general practices. If you are looking to join a thriving and friendly healthcare team working to support the Hastings community then please don't hesitate to get in touch.


General Practitioners (GP's) 

We are looking for General Practitioners to join our busy practice on a fixed term or permanent basis.  We have full time and part time roles available and offer a competitive pay rate. We are invested in our staff and our patients and we're looking for likeminded individuals who are passionate about making a difference for the community. 

For more information, or to find out how to apply, please contact our Operations Manager, Gabrielle Banks on  


Practice Nurses, Nurse Prescribers & Nurse Practitioners 

Tōtara Health is seeking Practice Nurses, Nurse Prescribers and Nurse Practitioners to join our wonderful team of Nurses. We are looking for individuals with compassion and care to support our patients in a busy and dynamic environment. We have full time and part time roles available and offer a competitive pay rate. We value respect, support and look after our Nurse team at Tōtara Health.

For more information, or to find out how to apply, please contact our Operations Manager, Gabrielle Banks on  



 13 May 2020

Tōtara Health at Level 2 and Beyond

Kia Ora whanau,

The world has changed dramatically over the last several months and we are sure you are all looking forward to resuming normal activities over the coming weeks and months. We need to update you on how things may be different in terms of how Tōtara Health will continue to care for you in the future if we return to Level 2 or beyond.

In level 2 our clinics will continue to be by appointment only and entrance into our buildings will be tightly controlled. These measures are to keep you and our team safe.

Please continue to call ahead and our team will ensure you receive the service you need. As always you can reach us on 0800 222 757, Seven days a week. Our phone lines are open from 8am each day during the week and 8:30am Saturday and Sunday.


We are now offering a choice between the convenience of a telephone consultation or a face to face consultation for people that require it. Please let our customer service team know when you call, if you have a particular preference for one or the other of these options. Our team will be able to tell you when the next available telephone consult or face to face consult is with your doctor.

If you need to be seen on the day you call because you have an acute medical issue, you will be booked a call back from a doctor who will be able to assist you and book you into our acute clinics if needed.  

If you have cold or flu symptoms we ask that you let our customer service team know so they can arrange for a nurse to call you back and discuss your symptoms. If you need a Covid-19 test, the nurse will book you in to be tested.  Please do not come into our clinics if you have cold or flu symptoms unless you are instructed to come in by a member of our staff. The staff member will explain where to go when you arrive if you are being tested for Covid-19 or seen by our respiratory doctor.

In all cases, if the clinician is able to assist you on the phone without the need for you to come in, you will be charged for the phone consultation. If you are booked an appointment or a covid-19 test you will not be charged for the call.


Prescriptions can be arranged over the phone or using ManageMyHealth as before and sent directly to the pharmacy. We are unable to offer prescriptions to pick up during level 2 and throughout winter. We have two services for ordering prescriptions:

  • Standard – available within 48-72 hours. If you order before 12pm, the prescription will be available at the pharmacy after 5pm the NEXT day.
  • Urgent - order before 12pm and we will have this available at the pharmacy after 5pm.


If you want to enrol with us you can still do so. Call us on 0800 222 757 and our customer service team will send you the forms in the post, or email them to you if you are able to print them out. You will then need to fill in the forms and return them with copies of your identification.