A Far North Maori GP says he's committed to serving his people for the long term - and to provide his community with quality health care at a one-on-one level.
Dr Lance O'Sullivan of Te Rarawa and Ngapuhi opened his own independent health clinic - Te Kohanga Whakaora - last week in Kaitaia - one of his goals after resigning from Te Hauora o Te Hiku o Te Ika who had issues with him not turning away patients who couldn't pay.
He says being active out in the community is just as important as treating people in his surgery.
Dr O'Sullivan says he feels a sense of loyalty to the Far North and is happy to raise his family in the area.
He says has a strong commitment to using his skills to improve the health of his impoverished rohe.
He says it is not about just sitting in his doctor's office, it is also about connecting with whanau all around the Far North at the grass roots level with local events and touching base and following up treatment at people's homes.