A Northland GP who is an advocate for reducing inequalities between Maori and non-Maori has been recognised for his work.

Kyle Eggleton, a kaupapa Maori medical officer at Ki A Ora Ngatiwai, was one of eight people who received a Distinguished Fellowship at The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) conference on Saturday for his service to the RNZCGP.

Mr Eggleton, who grew up in Hokianga, said he always had an interest in the medical field.

"Since I was a kid I always wanted to be a surgeon. I liked the idea of cutting people open, I liked the gore of it. But when I was doing my training I found out I liked the interpersonal side of it," he said.


Mr Eggleton completed his medical training at the University of Auckland's medical school in 1996. Since then he has worked as a surgeon, was an obstetrics and gynaecology senior house office at Middlemore Hospital, has worked in paediatrics and he has also worked as a psychologist. He moved back to Northland in 2001 and completed general practice training in Whangarei and Hokianga.

"I was interested in a lot of different things and was exploring," he said.

One thing that Mr Eggleton is particularly interested in is reducing the inequalities between the health of Maori and non-Maori. He said since he has been working in Northland there has been a consistent gap between the two.

"It was something I saw [while working]. I also realised that I was part of the problem. We all have implicit bias, we discriminate on a subconscious level. My PhD topic is around inequality and implicit bias and I hope learning can come from that," he said.

Mr Eggleton said he also looked at the inequalities between Maori and non-Maori while studying his masters degree in medical science and while studying a masters degree in public health he examined how patients engaged with receptionists and the impact those interactions could have.

Mr Eggleton said he was "chuffed" to have received a Distinguished Fellowship.