Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 3 February 2011 Contents LOCAL NEWS
Page 4 | 3 February, 2011
A desire to step out of the comfort zone
and be a role model for her children was
the catalyst for new Te Anau GP Dr Belinda
Wee's move from Singapore to Te Anau.
And Fiordland is set to gain twice from the
arrangement as her husband Joseph, also a
GP, will be coming here next month.
The couple, who have holidayed in New
Zealand regularly for the past 20 years, own
a successful general practice in Singapore
named Picton Medical Centre after one of
their favourite Kiwi spots. In the past couple
of years they've also opened a 30-bed
nursing home called Good Shepherd Loft --
small by Singapore standards and modelled
on New Zealand rest homes which are a
stark contrast to the 200-bed institutions
most often found in Singapore.
But it was their encouragement of their
children, 19-year-old Benedicta and 16-
year-old Bennett, to get out and explore
the world that prompted them to take their
own advice. They had previously owned a
property at Lake Tarawera, near Rotorua,
but decided they should "take the plunge"
and work in a different country.
It hasn't been easy to leave their practice.
"You do form relationships with your
patients and it's quite difficult to leave
them," she said.
Dr Wee arrived in Te Anau a week ago
leaving her husband to run their practice
alone and arrange locums. In March he'll
come to New Zealand, complete his GP
orientation courses then he'll take over
at Te Anau and his wife will return to their
Benedicta, a recently qualified nurse, plans
to accompany her father, with a view to
undertaking some post graduate study at a
New Zealand university. Bennett is currently
in Germany on a three-month exchange.
Dr Wee said they initially thought they would
be able to juggle the two roles but it was
already evident that the separation was
going to be difficult. She envisages they'll
now work towards appointing managers
to run their Singapore practice and both
relocate to Te Anau where they'll share the
one full time position.
It was advertised as "a job with a view"
and Dr Wee said it lived up to that on her
first day when she flew by helicopter to
attend an emergency in Milford Sound. In
Singapore there was no such work because,
being such a small place, no emergency
was ever more than 15 minutes or so by
road from a hospital.
It was one of many new things to get used
to in New Zealand, such as subsidised
drugs and ACC.
"You are very lucky here. A lot of things are
provided," she said.
How long the Wees stay in Fiordland would
depend very much on their patients, Dr
Wee said. People had a very personal
relationship with their doctor and she was
also conscious of cultural differences that
might crop up.
"Eventually, if we find that we are accepted
in this practice, we would be quite happy to
stay," she said.
Doctors take their own advice
New Te Anau GP Dr Belinda Wee who has
recently arrived from Singapore.
By Kirsty Macnicol
Spaces are still available to join Olympic
medallist Barbara Kendall on the Hump
Ridge track celebrity walk coming up on
Barbara Kendall has been one of New
Zealand's most successful sportswomen,
becoming a national hero when she won
gold in board sailing in the 1992 Olympics
in Barcelona -- the first gold medal won by a
woman from New Zealand in 40 years. She
competed in the Olympics five times before
officially retiring from competitive board
sailing in May last year.
Despite her high profile she's a down to
earth Kiwi mum who is enthusiastic about
"Shayne [my husband] and I are really
looking forward to the experience of walking
the Hump Ridge track in March -- come and
join us, I know we will have a lot of fun!"
For $495, the celebrity walk includes
access to the track, two nights'
accommodation with sleeping bag and
sheet provided, a hot shower at each lodge,
three days' heli-packing, all meals and
snacks and evening entertainment.
There is also the opportunity to upgrade to
premium private rooms for an additional
$100 per night.
Okaka Lodge and Port Craig Village run a
licensed bar so it's possible to kick back
and relax with a New Zealand wine or beer
after a long day on the track.
For more information or to book to go on
the trip, contact the Hump Ridge
headquarters on (03) 226 6739 or email
Hike the Hump Ridge with Barbara Kendall
Single Meal Deal
A winner is drawn every week!
Drop in to Te Anau Subway to
register your birthday and be
entered into the draw when
your birthday arrives.
Don't miss out !
HOW DO I ENTER ??
come and have
lunch on us!!
6" Sub & Drink
& your choice of either
2 cookies, 1 bag of chips or
1 bag of apples
It's your place, have your
The Department of Conservation is reviewing our management
strategies for conservation in Southland and Otago. This is your chance
to tell us what's important to you and have input into our strategies.
This opportunity only comes around once every 10 years!
To comment on what you value about Southland, simply visit
To comment on what you l
Surveys close 16 February
If you don't have access to th
- callus on(03)2112400to r
We'll put you on our mailing
informed with future update
For more information cal
u value about Otago,
he internet, that's OK
register your interest.
g list to keep you
l (03) 211 2400.
Mavora Lakes Park -- Rob Suisted / naturespic.com
Tell us what you think, Southland!
how hard can it be?"
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