A former Bay of Islands GP has been awarded his profession's highest honour.
Dr Chris Reid, who lived in Russell and worked at The Doctors in Kerikeri until returning to the UK this year, has been awarded a Distinguished Fellowship of the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners, the profession's governing body.
The honour, for Reid's services to rural health, was announced on Tuesday.
College president Dr Samantha Murton said Reid gave a voice to general practice in Northland through his work as an elected member of the Northland District Health Board, and as chairman of the college's Northland Faculty and National Advisory Council.
As well as organising regional and national GP conferences in Russell, Reid worked hard to promote rural medicine and schemes to attract and retain GPs in provincial areas.
When a third medical school was mooted to supplement those at Auckland and Otago universities, Reid pushed hard for a school specialising in rural practice and based in Northland.
During his 14-year stint in the Bay of Islands Reid was a popular GP, immersed in his community.
He had a tilt at politics — he just missed out to Matt King in the selection process to be Northland's National candidate — and became an accomplished photographer, publishing a book called Patient: Portraits from a doctor's surgery.
He also wrote regular columns about health issues in the Northland Age, a Kaitaia newspaper.
Reid, who is now working in Cornwall, where his wife is from, said he was grateful to his colleagues for nominating him.
''It's humbling, it's lovely, it's a recognition of the teamwork we have in the Northland Faculty and the lovely team I work with at The Doctors Kerikeri. It's a great honour but I feel like I'm accepting it for the team.''
Reid said the personal highlight of his time in Northland was his book and exhibition of patient portraits and the opening ceremony at the Turner Centre.
''The buy-in from the community was amazing. That was incredibly special.''
He was "definitely" coming back to New Zealand at some point.
Reid is also a former champion windsurfer who was hired in 2019 as the global safety officer for Sir Russell Coutts' global SailGP foiling catamaran race series. In the same year he helped with the on-water scenes in the action movie Tenet.
He graduated from Newcastle University in the UK in 1992 and was a medical officer in the British navy for nine years before moving to New Zealand.
Northland District Health Board chief executive Dr Nick Chamberlain congratulated Reid on his achievement and his contribution to primary care while he was practising in Kerikeri.
New Zealand has about 5500 GPs, only 96 of whom are Distinguished Fellows. The only other fellowship awarded this year went to Dr Graham McGeoch of Canterbury.