Congratulations to the recipients of the 2016 College Awards that were presented on Saturday 30 August at the Annual Conference at Langham Hotel, Auckland.

Distinguished Fellowships

On Saturday 30 July, the College held its annual Fellowship Ceremony.  This year we accepted 252 new Fellows into The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.  This included five Pasifika and 15 Māori Fellows. This cohort of Māori Fellows was the largest to go through in any one year and marks a significant milestone for the College. 

As well as welcoming our new Fellows, the College presented a number of special awards, including:

Honorary Fellowship

Dame Tariana Turia (Ngāti Apa, Ngā Wairiki, Ngā Rauru, Tūwharetoa, Whanganui)

In Dame Tariana’s many capacities – iwi leader, Member of Parliament, Minister of the Crown. Dame Tariana has been a tireless and unequalled advocate for improving health – for Māori, Pasifika and for disabled populations for which she held ministerial portfolios.

She has championed Smokefree Aotearoa and patient centred care. She led the development of the Māori health strategy “He Korowai Oranga” that initiated national conversations about Whānau Ora. Dame Tariana’s enduring legacy is Whānau Ora, she never let it become captured as a programme, project or a fund. Whānau Ora remains an aspiration – that families should be enabled, supported to exercise control over their own futures.  In the 2015 New Year’s honours, she was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. 

Dr Errol Raumati (Ngāti Mutunga, Taranaki)

For his services to the College, Te Akoranga a Māui and to general practice workforce development.

E te ariki noanoa, e taku tawhito, e te iho pūmanawa e Errol. E huihui ana tātou hei whakanui i āu mahi. He wā kia kitekite anō tātou i a tātou, kia rere noa nei ā mātou mihi ki a koe, e te rangatira.
A teenage Errol went off to the University of Otago with no physics or chemistry background, and yet overcame this to graduate in 1969. His postgraduate training was as varied as a Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, underwater medicine training and acupuncture. 

He practiced from Timaru to Dargaville over the years, spending several years in the South. In 1996 he left Rangiora to join the newly formed Te Āti Awa practice with Dr Tony Ruakere in Taranaki until his retirement in 2011. 

Errol is extremely conscientious, if you ask him to be anywhere, he will be there. No doubt this was one of the reasons he was elected as the President of Māori Students at the University of Otago. One other role he displayed his leadership skills in when at University was as Head Brewer. His fellow flatmates made up the rest of the team, and together they were known as the “Brewers Elbow!”

On a more serious note, we are here to honour the benefit from his diligent commitment to the College, to Te Akoranga a Māui, to workforce development (including the Te Rangi Hīroa scholarships), and to his patients.
Tēnā koe e te kaumātua, e te pāpā, e te mātua mō tō maia, mō tō whakautetanga mai, mō tō tauwhirotanga mai. Ahakoa ngā piki me ngā heke, kei reira tonu koe e hāpai ana i te kaupapa.


Professor Susan Dovey 

For her service to general practice research

Professor Dovey is a Professor of General Practice at The University of Otago – Dunedin. 

Professor Dovey has made a significant contribution to general practice and primary care research over the last 30 years. Her research interests centre on patient safety in primary care, working towards making primary health care safer for patients in New Zealand. 

Professor Dovey has long advocated for practising GPs to become involved in research. She was involved with the Research Registrar programme, which allowed general practice registrars to complete academic research as part of their general practice training. In addition, she has mentored and supported many emerging researchers, and published widely. 


Distinguished Fellowship

Dr Kyle Eggleton

For his service to The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.
Dr Eggleton is a general practitioner in Ruakaka and chair of the College’s Northland Faculty. 

Dr Eggleton has been an active member of the Northland Faculty for several years, holding several positions on the Faculty’s executive.

He has been instrumental in organising the well-regarded annual Northland CME Conference and Symposium, and recently established a mentoring programme for Northland registrars by Northland Fellows.

He has also implemented the College’s Kapa Kaiaka programme for new Fellows in his region. Dr Eggleton is also a researcher, having completed research about patients’ perceptions of general practice reception areas.


Professor Felicity Goodyear Smith

For her services to fostering and contributing to research and academic teaching in general practice.

Professor Goodyear-Smith is the Head of Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care at The University of Auckland. 

Professor Goodyear-Smith founded the respected Journal of Primary Health Care, and with her strong vision and academic leadership, it rapidly achieved its prestigious Medline listing. Under her direction, the Journal has become the place to publish New Zealand-based primary care research and thought provoking commentaries. 

In addition, as Head of Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care at The University of Auckland, Professor Goodyear-Smith has inspired undergraduate general practice teaching, developed postgraduate primary health care programmes and remains a critic and conscience of primary health care.


Dr Benjamin (Ben) Gray

For his service to general practice, teaching and research

Dr Gray is a general practitioner in Wellington and senior lecturer in Primary Health Care and General Practice at The University of Otago – Wellington. 

Dr Gray has always been cognisant of the importance of the social determinants of health. With his colleagues he developed and sustained a model of primary care that best serves high needs patients from a wide range of culturally diverse backgrounds. 

Since 2006, Dr Gray has been an academic GP, teaching and researching with a special interest in culture, self and diversity. He is noted for the practical application of his research. In 2012 he created a toolkit for medical students to help them communicate with patients who have limited English language skills, based on his study of using interpreters to aid general practice consultations.


Dr Jill McIlraith

For her service to general practice and sexual health education.

Dr McIlraith is a general practitioner in Dunedin South and Secretary of the College’s Otago Faculty.

Dr McIlraith is a passionate and dedicated educator in the broadest sense of the word. For many years she has taught sexual health to patients, community groups, schools, Probation Service clients and her peers. She also a general practice teacher to medical students and registrars. 

Amongst her peers, Dr McIlraith is well respected for her leadership of her clinic in a high needs community and for providing excellent continuity of care after that clinic was extensively damaged by flooding in 2015. Always the educator, she is now passing on her disaster recovery expertise to her peers.


Dr Samantha (Sam) Murton

For her service to The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners as a tireless advocate for quality general practice teaching and education.

Dr Murton is a general practitioner and general practice teacher in Wellington.

Dr Murton is a passionate teacher, academic and advocate for general practice. For several years she has worked in many roles in the education programme, giving support and encouragement to all undergraduate students, registrars, teachers and medical educators she has had contact with. 

Dr Murton also encourages general practitioners to practice their minor surgery skills. She has taught practical minor surgery sessions at several College Conferences, and last year published her illustrated book “Minor Surgery: A visual guide for office-based surgery from beginner to expert.”


Dr Sharad Paul

For his service to general practice and healthcare innovation

Dr Paul is a general practitioner in Auckland and College representative on Pharmac’s Dermatology pharmaceutical and therapeutic advisory committee.

Dr Paul has been a champion of primary care skin cancer surgery for several years. In 1996, he established the first GP surgery courses at The University of Auckland and in 2007 he invented a novel skin graft technique. 

As part of his practise, Dr Paul has established free skin cancer checks at his clinic, where patients are encouraged to actively make their own healthcare decisions. His model of care also supports patients learning more about skin lesions, self-screening and referral.

A published author, Dr Sharad also funds literacy programmes in low decile Auckland schools from the proceeds of his café and bookstore. 


Dr Rachel Thomson

For her commitment to Māori general practice workforce development

E te tākuta o Te Whānau-a-Apanui, tēnā koe. Ehara koe i te tangata, he mōmō koe. Ko tō ihu manea, kāore e tua atu, kāore e tua mai. Engari tū atu i te ihu manea, he ngākau mahaki. He wahine toko i te ora, toko i te tangata, toko i te tokotoru, toko i te hāpori, toko i te reo me ngā tikanga. Ko koe a-runga!

Dr Rachel Thomson’s commitment to Māori GP workforce development, particularly in supporting those in GPEP2 to Fellowship, could single-handedly be expected to have made the most impact on the number of Māori Fellows in Aotearoa today. 

This is paralleled by her commitment to her iwi as the Clinical Director and as a GP at the Te Whānau-a-Apanui Community Health Clinic which provides care to the kapa haka champions of the world. 

Rachel is one of the rare gems who is uncomplainingly available to her rural general practice community, still providing a 24 hour care roster.  She offers students a rare insight into life as a GP in a Māori rural community. Students can be in situations as diverse as delivering a baby in the clinic, or attending a severe trauma at the roadside and they will get the opportunity to be directed under her calm leadership to do tasks which contribute to the management of the situation. Her intellect is paired with a quick wit which makes her a real pleasure to work with.

Kāore te kumara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka. Ka kōrerorerohia koe e mātou. Nō reira e te hoa, e te tākuta, e te ihu manea, e te wahine hūmarie, e tika ana kia whakawhiwhia ki a koe, tēnei tohu. 


Dr David Tipene-Leach

For his services to general practice, public health medicine and research.

E ngā tukemata o Kahungugnu. Tēnā koe e te rangatira, e hia ngā pepi i ora ai i a koe i tō rangahau me tō mahi tākuta mō tō iwi me te iwi whānui. Ko koe tētahi e hīkoi nei i ngā ao e rua, tō u ki ngā tīkanga o te Māori, tō mōhio hoki ki ngā tīkanga o te Pāhekā. Koirā te iwi i ora ai i a koe.

Dr David Tipene-Leach is experienced in general practice, public health medicine, academic teaching and research. He is a fluent speaker of te reo Māori and an ardent worker for his people both as a GP for Hauora Heretaunga in Hastings and as Chair of He Toa Takitini (the vehicle to build economic resource for the future).  

With his impressive list of publications his leadership and collaborative work on Sudden Infant Death syndrome including research on the wahakura (woven flax bassinets for infants) stand out as a key part of turning around those tragic statistics.

Ahakoa tō āhei ki ngā pūkenga, he tangata ngāwari, he tangata māmā mā te hunga ākonga hei kōrero, hei piri, hei ako. Nei ā mātou mihi ka rere.


Community Service Awards

Dr Keith Buswell

For outstanding service to health care and the community of Te Kuiti

Dr Buswell is a general practitioner and rural hospital doctor in Te Kuiti.

Dr Buswell has been an active supporter of rural medicine and the Te Kuiti community throughout his career. 

In the mid-1990s, he was instrumental in establishing 24 hour emergency department cover and in-patient care in Te Kuiti. In addition to his own practice, Dr Buswell teaches undergraduate medical students and postgraduate rural hospital registrars and has been a volunteer doctor in Nepal, Niue and Rarotonga.

Dr Buswell is also active in the Te Kuiti community. He helped establish the Te Araroa trail south of Te Kuiti, coordinates a community conservation group, and is an active member of the Te Kuiti Pipe Band. 


Anne-Marie Cullen

Dr Cullen has been a partner at Khandallah Medical Centre, a suburban family practice for 30 years.

She has a particular passion for child and psychological health. 

She was a member of an ADHD working group, developing guidelines and implementing an integrated project with Capital and Coast DHB. Subsequent to this a Wellington GP ADHD Liaison Service was developed. She is a keen member, contributing to regular multidisciplinary meetings. She cares for a large group of affected children, and also supports teachers and colleagues. 

Other childhood neurodevelopmental disorders are also of great interest to her. 


Dr Ivan Howie

For outstanding service to health care on Great Barrier Island

Dr Howie has been the mainstay general practitioner on Great Barrier Island for 35 years.

He arrived with a background in medicine and theological pastoral care, initially working from a caravan and travelling around the island on a motorbike.

From the beginning he was far more than a GP and immersed himself in the remote island community. During his life on the island he has been the doctor, obstetrician, dentist, undertaker, marriage celebrant, counsellor and friend to everyone.
He has cared for everyone from cradle to grave, and his service to and love for his community is exceptional and inspirational. 

Dr Howie is accompanied on stage tonight by his wife Leonie, a nurse and midwife, who is the other half of the island’s general practice team.