GPs are mourning the death of a leader of rural medicine, Pat Farry.
The long-time Queenstown GP died suddenly on Thursday evening while filling-in as a locum doctor in Twizel.
Dr Farry, 65, was recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday honours list for his services to rural medicine.
He worked as a Queenstown GP for more than three decades, opening in 1976 what was then only New Zealand's second medical centre ahead of a rapid growth at the resort.
Radio New Zealand's heath correspondent reports Dr Farry was equally committed to the education of doctors.
In 2007, he obtained the funds to set up New Zealand's first one-year rural immersion programme for medical students to encourage them to work in rural areas.
He was director of Otago University's Te Waipounamu Rural Health Unit and a distinguished fellow of the College of GPs.
GP Tony Townsend of Whangamata says Dr Farry was one of the first to champion truly patient-centred medicine and an early champion of the need for doctors to emphathise with patients.