I grew up in Taranaki and graduated from medical school at the University of Auckland. After completing General Surgery training in Aotearoa/New Zealand, I undertook post fellowship training in surgical oncology and hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre (MSKCC) in New York City. MSKCC is the oldest and arguably the most prestigious specialised cancer hospital in the world.
At the time of finishing my surgical training, I was the only Māori General Surgeon in Aotearoa/New Zealand. As such, a significant part of my professional contribution to surgery has been working to improve the health of indigenous communities in both NZ and Australia through research and advocacy and fostering the development of an indigenous medical workforce. I believe in the importance of doctors advocating for communities and have been foundation member of the National Perioperative Mortality Review Committee, President of the Auckland Northland Division of the Cancer Society of New Zealand, and currently serve on the board of the national cancer agency Te Aho o te Kahu. I am also an examiner for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the subspeciality editor for liver, pancreas and biliary (HPB) surgery for the ANZ Journal of Surgery. I maintain active research interests in both HPB Surgery research and indigenous health and am a Professor of Surgery at the University of Auckland.
I am the head of the Upper Gastrointestinal Unit at Waitemata District Health Board at North Shore Hospital and my specific area of clinical interest is in the investigation and management of tumours of the upper gastrointestinal tract. This includes surgical resection or ablation of tumours of the liver, gallbladder, stomach, pancreas and bowel. I also have a significant interest in the management of neuroendocrine and carcinoid tumours of the gastrointestinal tract. This work is also balanced by a commitment to general surgery working on the acute roster at North Shore Hospital and providing elective care for patients with common general surgery conditions (e.g. gallstones, hernias).
In my spare time, I enjoy running, swimming and other exercise. I have an interest in home renovation and also spend time on Kawau Island.