Dr Paratene (Pat) Ngata –

Ngakau Ora Award

Proudly sponsored by Medical Assurance Society

Dr Paratene (Pat) Ngata,

Te Aitanga-a-Hauti, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Ira

It’s his burning passion for Māori public health and his incredible leadership that people remember about GP Dr Pat Ngata.

Despite being far away from his people and finding the cold difficult to bear, Pat graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) from Otago University in 1970. His quest to encourage, nurture, and mentor Māori students in health saw him asked, in the 1980s, to add a ‘Māori element’ into medical training, mentor young medical students, and encourage Māori to enter the profession.

Pat helped establish the Hui Whakaoranga in 1984 alongside Eru Pomare, Lorna Dyall, George Salmond, and Mason Durie. The hui, which rejected the notion that culture was irrelevant to health, was described as the most important Māori health initiative since the days of Āpirana Ngata and Te Rangi Hīroa. Within a decade of the gathering, Māori had become major providers in not only the health sector, but also education and welfare. Dr Ngata also helped found Ngati Porou Hauora, and the Maori medical practitioners’ group, Te ORA.

After working with Tony Ruakere in Opunake for a spell, Pat returned to Gisborne in 1990 -joining his uncle Herewini’s practice, a place he referred to as ‘bro repairs’ because it became so popular among Māori. In 1996, he tried to retire to Tolaga Bay but that didn’t last long and because rural GPs were in such short supply he returned to work, continuing as a GP until 2008 when he (really) retired.

Dr Ngata was made a Fellow of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners in 2003. In 2008 he was named a Distinguished Fellow, an awarded nominated by peers for doctors who are outstanding in their profession. The College’s highest honour acknowledging the work he had done for medical students, young doctors, the College, and in particular, Te Akoranga a Maui, and Te ORA.

Whilst in Te ORA Pats abiding concern was the welfare of our members. He started Ngākau Ora, the pastoral care wing of The Māori Medical Practitioners Association. Every so often a senior member would get a ring to say “can you look in on so and so who is in a wee tad of strife”. Medicine is not without its traps and pitfalls, and Pat probably saved a good number of us from an otherwise ignoble situation. So the Ngākau Ora Award is given in his memory to one of our number who has shown outstanding concern for the wellbeing of individual members amongst our number.

Te Ngakau Ora Award Recipient


Te Ngakau Ora Award Recipient

2019 Te Wananga o Aotearoa Ki Porirua

2019 Associate Professor Joanne Baxter

2017 Te Wananga o Aotearoa Ki Porirua

2017 Dr Lincoln Nicholls

2016  Papakura Marae

2016 Associate Professor Papaarangi Reid

2015 Tu Toa, Tai Wananga

2015 Lance O’Sullivan

2014 Whangaehu Marae, Whanganui

2014 Dr Lilly Fraser

2013 Kuratini Marae, Massey University

2013 Dr Leo Buchanan

2012 Korou Kore Marae, Ahipara

2012 Dr Rawiri Jansen

2011 Makaurau Marae, Mangere

2011 Dr Keri Ratima

2010 Parihaka

2010 Dr Tony Ruakere

2009 Whanganui-ā-Tara

2009 Dr Rachel Thomson

2008 Porangahau

2008 –

2007 Tangata Marae, Matamata


2006  Jet Inn, Manukau


2005 Waahi Pa, Huntly

2005 –

2004 Otakou

2004 –

2003 MaungaTapu, Tauranga

2003 –

2002 Owae, Waitara


2001 Rotoiti


2000 Tolaga Bay

2000 –

1999 Hongoeka


1998 Waipapa, Tamaki


1997Waipapa, Tamaki



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