Council membership changes and Working in Aotearoa NZ resource

Nāku te rourou nāu te rourou ka ora ai te iwi

Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi is a whakatauakī or Māori proverb which speaks to the contributions people make for the collective or iwi to prosper.  It is an appropriate way to acknowledge Robin Whyman and Kate Hazlett as they leave the Council, and we welcome three new members to the Council. To that end two valued members of the Council terms concluded in June 2021.

Robin Whyman served on the Council from June 2011, and filled the positions of Deputy Chair and Chair between 2013 - 2019.  Robin served on numerous Council committees and working groups including—chairing the standards review committee, oral health therapy working group, orthodontic working group, business continuity and audit and risk committees, and the medical emergencies standard review committee. He also served on the transmissible major viral infections panel and Australian Dental Council/Dental Council NZ accreditation committee. 

Under Robin’s leadership, the Council has committed to be a right-touch risk-based regulator, introduced the Standards Framework for Oral Health Practitioners, put in place a new IT system, and contributed towards the review of our new recertification framework. 

Kate Hazlett was appointed as lay member to the Council in April 2010. During her time on the Council, Kate served on the Dentist Board until its disestablishment in 2011, the audit and risk committee, and the transmissible major viral infections panel. 

Kate’s earlier professional experience as a school dental nurse and her strong sense of patient and public protection, contributed to Kate’s valuable insight and influence around the meeting table. 

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Robin and Kate, and we thank them sincerely for their commitment and valuable contributions to the Dental Council over many years. Your insight and support will be greatly missed, however the profession has benefited immensely as a result of your mahi.

In June 2021, John Bridgman, Rosemary Fitzpatrick and Charmaine Pene were appointed to the Council. 

John Bridgman has more than 29 years of clinical experience in both the public and private sectors in New Zealand and overseas, and was also previously on the staff at the University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry. John registered in New Zealand as a dentist in 1991 and as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in 2002. John currently practises in Tauranga, has governance experience and has supported the Council in a number of accreditation activities. 

Rosemary Fitzpatrick is the owner and Managing Director of Teuila Consultancy and has extensive experience in the education sector, with a particular focus on family and community engagement to improve outcomes. Rosemary has governance experience in the education and social services sectors in Auckland and with Pacific Peoples interest groups. Rosemary is appointed as a laymember to the Council.

Charmaine Pene is an experienced project manager and health auditor, and held senior health management and leadership roles in the New Zealand Defence Force over a 25-year period. Currently, Charmaine is the Group Manager for Evolution Healthcare. Charmaine is appointed as a laymember to the Council.

A warm welcome to John, Rosemary and Charmaine. Our new members will build on our successes to date as the oral health regulator. 

Working in Aotearoa New Zealand resource

We have recently reviewed the New Zealand conditions of practice handbook to ensure the content is up-to-date and fit for purpose. We amongst other things, changed the title to Working in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The resource provides new registrants with context and resource links to prepare them for working as an oral health practitioner in Aotearoa New Zealand. The primary target group is overseas new registrants, but it may be helpful for all registrants. 

The handbook offers an overview of the things you need to know as an oral health practitioner in New Zealand, including:

  • the New Zealand practice environment – cultural context, Te Tiriti o Waitangi /The Treaty of Waitangi, key health sector organisations and their roles
  • the legal and regulatory framework in New Zealand that governs your work here
  • your obligations under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003
  • the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights
  • standards you need to comply with
  • your other legal obligations related to oral health practice
  • the support network that is available to you.

We recommend practitioners peruse the Working in Aotearoa New Zealand handbook, it contains helpful information and resources (links).