ProCare Chair Harley Aish, ProCare CEO Bindi Norwell, and Cooperative Business NZ CEO Roz Henry

The Emerging Business of the Year category was created to recognise an emerging co-operative, who has been in operation for five years or under. It celebrates the work that the co-operative is doing to ensure their long term success, viability and contribution to the co-operative community.  

ProCare took out this award for the 2021 (presented in February 2022). New Zealand’s largest and most diverse co-operative of healthcare professionals, ProCare represent more than 170 general practices across the greater Auckland region, with over 800,000 enrolled patients 

Originally formed in the 1990s, 2019 saw them formally become a co-operative. What stood out in their winning nomination was their strong drive behind the WHY of becoming a co-operative and their continuous work on ensuring they are guided by co-operative principles. 

The change from a corporate to co-operative came about after 18 months of consultations and a 94% shareholder vote of YES – let’s do it. Since then, ProCare has continued to grow from strength to strength.  

They moved quickly to bring the co-operative vision to life. It has allowed easier entry to practice ownership for younger GPs and nurses and exit for retiring GPs and nurses. It’s fantastic to see how this co-operative move will support succession planning and address the pressures on independent general practices.  

ProCare have embodied cooperation amongst co-operative principles very early on. In partnership with another one of our members – Southern Cross Health Society - they launched their new delivery model of primary healthcare, CareHQ virtual health services.  

Over the past year, the new co-operative has also been able to deliver: 

  • Crucial funding returned to their network members at a time they needed it most 
  • Employment Plus, their dedicated HR service, supporting practices with recruitment expertise 
  • Mental Health programmes through their subsidiary Fresh Minds, to assist practice staff in managing their wellbeing during stressful times, and  
  • Bespoke training solutions for registered nurses being supported into general practices, which came off the back of member feedback - to name a few! 

Overall, ProCare’s work in transforming into a co-operative, followed by walking the talk as one, has allowed their practices to thrive and even better serve their patients and communities.  

Congratulations ProCare! 


With thanks to Anderson Lloyd and LBMX. The Annual Awards would not be possible without your support.