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Te ORA congratulates Dr Lance O’Sullivan

Press release

For immediate release

27 Hui-Tanguru 2014

Te ORA congratulates Dr Lance O’Sullivan

Kei te hoa, kei te whanaunga, kei te tuakana, kei te tungāne

Tenei ra te whakamihi ki a koe, e piki nei ki te taumata

Kua whakanuia koe i te atamira auraki, e kīia nei 'Te Tangata o Aotearoa o Te Tau'

I to whakahōnoretanga, kua hōnore tatou katoa

Te ORA Congratulates Dr Lance O’Sullivan on being named New Zealander of the Year. Lance’s ties with Te ORA go back to when he first joined, as a Māori medical student. Since then we’ve followed Lance as he has moved from GP work in Rotorua through to his return to his Tūrangawaewae at Kaitaia and service to the people of Te Hiku o Te Ika. Many of our students have travelled to Kaitaia to see how Lance works, and in 2012 Te ORA was welcomed there for our Hui-A-Tau at Korou Kore Marae, Ahipara.

Lance has in many ways broken the mould in his approach to health care, particularly in access to services for the young and the poor. Society may often portray such groups as medically marginalised, but Lance has kept them at the centre of his focus. It hasn’t always been easy — where there is suffering, sometimes good people can be drawn into different points of view as to the best way forward.

Lance’s character of persistence even through the hard parts is mirrored by his sporting achievements in IronMaori, NZ IronMan, and club rugby. We perceive that Lance has followed up on his commitment to the people, and as Māori doctors we’re proud to see one of our number honoured in this way. Of course Lance is the first to say “ehara taku toa, i te toa takitahi, engari, he toa takitini”, and so we particularly identify the support of his hoa rangatira Tracy, and their whānau at home and at Te Kohanga Whakaora. Kaitaia 2014, NZ’s northernmost region, the first Māori doctor New Zealander of the Year — Lance you’ve laid down the kaupapa, we hope to see it expand outwards across the motu.

Nā George Laking (Chair, Te ORA)

ENDS

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