Te Hiku Hauora will farewell one of its long-serving GPs, Dr Cecil Williams, tomorrow.
Dr Williams trained in South Africa, arriving in New Zealand in the mid-1990s. At some point he abandoned his dream of making his way in the world as a surfer and sandal-maker, but has greatly enjoyed working in the Far North.
"We were accepted into the Far North with generosity and support," he said.
"Kaitaia has been our home for 24 years; it's all about lifestyle, that work/life balance, and making the most of the incredible surroundings."
He spent two years at Kaitaia Hospital before moving to Hamilton, then returned to Kaitaia to work in a private practice for 10 years before joining Te Hiku Hauora in 2008.
With a special interest in sport injuries, he completed a post-graduate diploma in sports medicine from the University of Auckland, and also acquired a hyperbaric and dive medical certificate, which saw him become the designated doctor for diving medical examinations in the Far North.
"Much has changed in rural New Zealand over this time," he said however.
"Medical practice has undergone change after change, with increasing complexity, expectation, computerisation, compliance and demands.
"With much consideration I've decided to take a well-deserved break, mainly to spend quality time with my family, especially my mokopuna. Enjoying the outdoors is an integral part of life too, whether it be fishing, walking, cycling, or just enjoying a day at the beach."
Te Hiku Hauora acknowledged his many years of service to the community, and wished him well for the future.