Distinguished Fellow Dr Samantha Murton voted President-elect

College news
16 November 2018

Dr Samantha Murton

Dr Samantha Murton, a GP from Wellington, has been voted President-elect of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (the College), winning the Presidential election by a clear margin.

Dr Murton is just the third female GP to become President in the College’s 45-year history. 

The election was sparked by former-President Dr Tim Malloy’s resignation in August, due to health issues. Dr Malloy had been College President since 2012.

Dr Murton ran against four other candidates: Dr Bryan Betty from Wellington, Dr Aniva Lawrence and Dr Chris Reid both from Northland, and Dr Mark Peterson from Hawkes Bay.

With 1,772 votes cast (38% of eligible voters), this election attracted the highest voter turnout since the College started online voting in 2013.

Dr Murton says she is delighted and humbled with the results, and is looking forward to representing members’ views, helping set strategic priorities for the College, and being the public representative of New Zealand’s GP workforce.

“Primary health care is growing in importance, particularly as New Zealand’s population grows and ages. I am convinced that expert general practice is pivotal to optimising care for our patients as it adapts to stay at the forefront of healthcare in New Zealand. We need to put some creative thought and energy into how we, as expert generalists, instigate and champion that change,” says Dr Murton.

“Our upcoming doctors and potential GPs are a diverse group and this makes them better able to support patients in all their diversity. It’s important our GPs are able to provide care that is equitable, appropriate, and delivered in a timely fashion.

“The College has a role to play supporting, encouraging and sustaining its members and new GPs in their work.”

Read more about Samantha here.

Voting results:

In total, 1,772 of 4,660 voting members of the College participated in the election (a turnout of 38 percent). Using the single transferable voting (STV) system, each voter can rank as many or as few candidates as they wish in order of preference.

Each of these preferential votes are counted, which means the number of votes counted is higher than the number of voters that participated in the election. The candidates' votes were as follows:

 Dr Aniva Lawrence  229 
 Dr Mark Peterson  313
 Dr Bryan Betty  403
 Dr Chris Reid  701
 Dr Samantha Murton  1,330


Election details:

  • Dr Murton is officially a ‘President-elect’ until the Board confirms their position as President. This is expected to happen at the next scheduled Board meeting on 5 December 2018.
  • The President’s term is for three years. Dr Murton’s term will begin the day the Board confirms her appointment and will end at the conclusion of the 2022 College AGM (date tbc, typically held the last weekend of July each year).
  • College Presidents can stand for a maximum of two three-year terms.
  • The College President automatically assumes the role of Chair of the College Board.
  • A copy of the College Rules, which outline the process for College elections, can be found here (see rule 21.7). 
Read more about the 2018 Presidential election here.