Great Barrier Island is a stunning island 90km north east of Auckland. The island is home to a small community of about 700 permanent residents. In terms of community services, there are three schools on the island and a health centre. For a small community there are also many community organisations and groups that contribute massively to the island like the Rural Woman Awana Branch and the Great Barrier Island Community Health Trust. The island is home to a massive part of the Department of Conservations estate for Auckland.
Great Barrier is becoming a tourist destination with over 40,000 tourists visiting per year. Each year the island holds a number of events including the annual Great Barrier Island Wharf to Wharf event which attracts a number of visitors. I have run in the Wharf to Wharf and I believe it is one of the toughest but most beautiful marathons in New Zealand.
Over the summer months the islands population swells with many Aucklanders and other New Zealanders travel over to the island to stay in the many batches on the island. You can travel to the Barrier by plane and by ferry.
I enjoy holding constituency clinics on the island, I try to visit the community 4 times a year which is about right for the number of people living there. I am always amazed at the locals resilience, friendliness and their ability to deliver local projects and community initiatives at a light speed pace.
Photo attribution: Andy Kyte.