Dr Lance O’Sullivan

Dr. Lance O’Sullivan is considered to be one of New Zealand’s most inspirational role models in medicine, healthcare and for Maori. For his achievements, Lance was announced winner of the Health section for ‘Maori of the year’ and the Supreme Award for Maori of the Year/Nga Toa Whakaihuwaka in 2013.


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As a GP in Rotorua and Northland, Lance saw the impact of poverty on the health and wellbeing of families and set on a tireless course to instigate change. He has built partnerships across different agencies, and with politicians, in order to deliver new services and has trained dozens of medical students to continue in his footsteps with regard to community care.

Committed to ensuring equal access to care for all, Lance and his wife Tracy set up a low-cost health clinic named Te Kohanga Whakaora (“The Nest of Wellness”) at Kaitaia Hospital in 2012.

Lance was also instrumental in setting up the school-based MOKO Programme (Manawa Ora, Korokoro Ora or Healthy Heart, Healthy Throat) at Kaitaia Primary, the first full-time, school-based health clinic in Northland. MOKO aims to provide medical care for 2,000 children, at 14 primary and intermediate schools, with nurses and community health workers visiting each school three times a week.

In addition, Lance’s Kainga Ora (Well Home) programme is focussed on fixing cold, run-down homes, originating from his realisation that wellness begins in warm homes. With a door to door approach, Lance and his supporters will not rest until every child in the community lives in a healthy environment.

For his achievements, Lance was announced winner of the Health section for ‘Maori of the year’ and the Supreme Award for Maori of the Year/Nga Toa Whakaihuwaka in 2013.