A Kaikohe woman has pleaded not guilty to making dentures without being a permitted health practitioner.

Claire Louise Wihongi Matene appeared in the Kaikohe District Court on Monday facing seven charges laid by the Ministry of Health.

It is understood Wihongi Matene made and repaired dentures from her home on Mangakahia Rd, south of Kaikohe, with her clients' dental work paid for by Work and Income.

The court was told more than 205 Work and Income clients had been affected.


The 40-year-old denied all seven charges and was accompanied by a large group of supporters who filled the public gallery. They included Te Rūnanga-ā-iwi o Ngāpuhi chairman Sonny Tau and Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board member Shaun Reilly.

Six of the charges allege Wihongi Matene performed ''a restricted activity, namely clinical procedures involved in the insertion and maintenance of fixed and removable orthodontic or oral and maxillofacial prosthetic appliances (dentures) on members of the public when she was not a health practitioner permitted to perform that activity''.

The seventh charge alleges that she said or did something to suggest she was a clinical dental clinician when she was not.

All charges are representative, meaning they cover more than one incident, and are laid under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

Wihongi Matene is due back in court on September 3 for a case review hearing. She was remanded without conditions until then.