The Tairawhiti District Health Board in Gisborne is defending its decision to award mental health support contracts to an Auckland trust.
Turanga Health has provided community mental health services in the region since 1997 and says the move will cost 15 jobs and cut its income by $400,000 a year.
DHB chief executive Jim Green says the board has to make sure it offers the best range of services to consumers.
Mr Green says the decision to award contracts to the Challenge Trust follows a comprehensive review of mental health services, which highlighted the need for improvements.
The trust will employ up to 25 people in Gisborne, he says.