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St. Joseph’s Home is located in Ponsonby, a suburb of Auckland.  The glorious views of Waitemata Harbour and Auckland Harbour Bridge are a highlight of the Home,

The Little Sisters of the Poor first arrived in Auckland in 1888. Initially the Home was in Hepburn Street before transferring to Tweed Street where land was available. A large Home was built to meet the growing needs of the elderly of that time.  


Today the Home is on the same site, but was completely rebuilt in 2003, providing hospital and rest home care.  Independent units were then built, completing this project.

Although we provide 3 different levels of care the Little Sisters want each Resident to feel that they are “home” where they find they are loved, respected and not alone. The tenants of Independent Units interact well with residents who are less active and need assistance.

There are 31 rooms, each with heated ensuite Each Room contains:

- A bedroom with built in wardrobe containing shelves

- A table for T.V.

- An armchair as well as another chair.

Residents are welcome to bring pictures, photos and other objects which make their room home-like.

Most of the rooms have a view of the terraces which have flower boxes.


The bedrooms in the front of the house have views of Waitemata Harbour and/or views of the harbour bridge.

The Chapel is the centre of the Home, and a very important place. Many Residents, including those who are not catholic, find peace in the Chapel.

Mass is celebrated daily and devotions in the evening.  All are welcome to participate if they wish. Funerals of Residents may be conducted from the Chapel.

Two dining rooms provide an area for the very frail who require assistance. The other dining room is for those Residents and Tenants who can manage independently.

A well-equipped Physiotherapy room provides for a qualified Physiotherapist three times weekly

A varied activity programme is available and includes  Scenic drives, various entertainments and films

Meetings for Residents are held regularly giving the opportunity to voice any suggestions, improvements or concerns.

“Making the Residents happy is what counts” These words of St. Jeanne Jugan are the goal for Little Sisters, their team of Staff and Volunteers.


All rooms, including ensuites are charged at the same rate of $159.75 per day as at 30th 2021,

These fees are set by the Government on the 1st of July each year.

The daily rate to be paid by the resident will depend on their financial status, which is assessed by Work and Income New Zealand Residential Subsidy Unit (WINZ). If eligible for financial support from WINZ, that support, together with the resident's Superannuation, will be paid directly to the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Southern District Health Board may also contribute to residents` costs once a resident has been assessed as needing permanent care.


Elderly men and women 65 years and older.

Low income - All denominations


The history of this foundation began in December 1884 when Bishop Luck encountered two Little Sisters in a street during a visit to Melbourne – just one month after the arrival of the Little Sisters in Australia. 

This chance visit led to the approval of another foundation in Auckland, and five Little Sisters were to arrive from France sometime in 1886.  But fate had it otherwise.  The foundation in Sydney was made in 1886 and shortly afterwards typhoid fever struck the Sydney community.  One Little Sister died and others were gravely ill.  The Sisters destined for the Auckland foundation were then needed in the Australian houses.

In June, 1888, two Little Sisters arrived in Auckland to search for a suitable house.  With the assistance of Bishop Luck and a benefactor, Mr. Darby, they found a house To Let in Hepburn Street, Ponsonby.  This house still exists today.  The Sisters had intended to return to Australia and await the Superior destined for Auckland.  Once the house was found however, Bishops Luck said to them: "“If the house suits you, in the Name of God take it, and begin immediately your work of charity…”"  The Sisters saw this as a clear manifestation of the will of God and so agreed.  That evening, a letter was dispatched to Australia saying: “Send the Little Sisters to Auckland on the first available boat.”

When the Sisters took possession of the house, they first needed to wash and scrub and set up beds. There were no tables or chairs.  Around lunch time, Mr. Darby, arrived to find the four Sisters enjoying sandwiches which the Sisters of Mercy had given them.  There was no other food in the house.  Two Sisters were sitting on a packing case, and the other two were sitting on a built-in cupboard.  He was so moved by the austerity of this scene that he turned on his heel, with tears in his eyes, and returned some time later with a large saucepan and some meat and groceries.

A few months later they received the first young New Zealand girl who felt the call to live her life as a Little Sister of the Poor, and many more followed.

Time passed, and Providence continued to watch over the concerns and interests of the foundation.  Every Saturday Mr. Darby would bring enough provisions for Sunday dinner for the whole house, and M Cauning supplied a casserole of stew every second day.  It really hurt this gentleman to see the Sisters carrying bread, meat, groceries and vegetables.  They used bags made of hessian and carried large baskets.  He was determined, with the help of some charitably minded friends, to purchase a horse and van for them.  This was realized on 5th November.  Bishop Luck gave the harness and Mr. Cauning the horse and cart.

The collecting Sisters became a familiar sight around Auckland, as they still are today – and they are still received with the same generosity and warmth as those first Little Sisters.
The number of Residents continually increased, and soon, as was the case in every foundation of the Congregation since its beginning, larger premises were necessary.

In January 1889, the Sisters acquired five acres of land in Shelly Beach Road on which a timber structure stood.  February 13th was the day of the move from Hepburn Street to Shelly Beach Road.  This wooden house, together with a building constructed for the men in 1891 was “Home” until 1904 when it again became necessary to arrange for a larger building.

In 1904 the timber house was transferred to the other side of the road (Tweed Street) where it remains today, with alterations and additions, and is known as “Mollies Hotel.” 
Erection of the main building was completed by November 1904 and there were further extensions over the years.  In the year 1910 there were eighty two residents in the Home Extensions were added in 1920s so that up to 200 elderly people could be accommodated at a time. This building in its turn was demolished in 1998  and a new modern facility is now in operation.


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