Renowned Māori health advocate Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen (Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Hinerangi) has been awarded Distinguished Fellowship of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.
Auckland-based Dr Jansen is the Clinical Director of the National Hauora Coalition - a clinical network of 54 GP practices, serving over 220,000 patients across five District Health Boards.
He is passionate about community care and his drive to improve health equity for Māori is apparent through recent roles as Clinical Director at South Auckland’s Papakura Marae, and his work developing the school-based health team also in South Auckland, whose overarching aim is to eliminate rheumatic fever in New Zealand.
College President Dr Samantha Murton says, “Dr Jansen’s significant contributions to Hauora Māori at both grassroots and national levels, speak volumes about his passion for improving equity within New Zealand’s health system. He truly puts Māori at the heart of everything he does.”
Dr Jansen is also a co-leader of the National Māori pandemic group, Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā, which consists of some of the top Māori health experts in the country. The group delivers information and resources specifically for Māori about the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rollout of the vaccination programme.
Dr Rachel Mackie, Chair of Te Akoranga a Māui, the College’s Māori special representative group, says, “Dr Jansen is a leader, and a strong and effective communicator for what he believes in – Māori self-determination (tino rangatiratanga). He has the determination to improve the wellbeing of Māori communities through his influence at various levels, and his work in the community with whānau.”
Distinguished Fellowship is awarded to Fellows of the College who have made sustained contributions to general practice, medicine, or the health and wellbeing of the community.
This year, six GPs were awarded Distinguished Fellowship at the College’s conference in Wellington.