Summer Holidays 2019-2020

Tarawera Medical Centre wish all our patients a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. As usual we will be closed on the stat holidays. Normal clinics will run on the Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Now would be a good time to check that you have enough of your medicines to last through the holidays and order/collect repeats early this week if needed.

We will be closed on Christmas and Boxing Day, New Year and 2nd January but open normal hours on;

Monday 23rd and 30th December

Tuesday 24th and 31st December

Friday 27th December and 3rd January

When we are closed the normal nurse triage is available by phone as is the GP afterhours service at Whakatane Hospital.

Snow White’s Immunisation Day

Snow White visits the Tarawera Medical Centre for an Immunisation Day

With the measles outbreak centred in Auckland the nurses  have been extremely busy with immunisations to ensure all who want protection have been able to receive it. This week Snow White and her helper appeared to help with the effort and impressed young and old. This was an initiative of Michele Pearson-Garcia who has recently joined the nursing team. She was supported by all the staff including Tracy Wilson who joined the fun in costume too.

Tracy Wilson and Michele Pearson-Garcia in costume for the Snow White Immunisation Day

The measles outbreak is a timely reminder not to become complacent about illnesses that many have forgotten. Some of us grew up in an age when measles, whooping cough, mumps, rubella were a right of passage. These had long term implications for some and it was just accepted as random tragedy as there was no way of preventing it. To better understand this issue the Health Promotion Agency/Te Hiringa Hauora website has a number of resouces including this video.



Tarawera Medical Centre celebrates 30 years

On 5 September 2019, Tarawera Medical Centre celebrated 30 years since opening in Kawerau. One of our staff, Margaret Paul, has been with the practice since it opened in 1989 and had been practice nurse with one of the practices that formed the Medical Centre prior to the opening. Before  that she had been one of the midwives at the Kawerau Maternity Unit (along with Jeanette Edwards, another of the current Practice Nurses) so has made an incredible contribution to the population of Kawerau. 

This 30 year milestone was celebrated with a morning tea and presentation to Margaret in recognition of her service to the community and the Medical Centre.

The gallery of images has a few from the film days of 1989 and some more recent pictures. Margaret is only one of our dedicated staff, many who have years of service and are the backbone of the medical centre team. 

30 years has seen some remarkable changes with handwritten appointment books, records and scripts being replaced by computerised systems.  In 1989 Tarawera Medical Centre became the first group practice in Kawerau with doctors Tony Whitehead and John Anderton, and offered visiting Orthopaedic specialist clinics which continue to this day. Addition of an onsite  Medical Laboratory service was another first for Kawerau. More recently Tarawera Pharmacy and Tarawera Physiotherapy, which are independent businesses, added to the range of services available onsite. Tarawera Medical Centre has always been completely owned by the practicing doctors so we have been able to pursue a philosophy of quality care without the pressure of outside shareholders prioritising profit over patients. A number of our staff have  pursued further study and qualifications to expand the range of medical, surgical and nursing services available to patients in Kawerau.

Influenza Vaccine

The annual Influenza vaccine is now available. Drop in as soon as convenient to avoid a last minute rush.

It is free to those over 65 and patients under 65 with certain medical conditions. Shingles vaccine is also funded for patients between 65 and 80 and can be given at the same visit.

Thie influenza vaccine may be contraindicated for patients on 4 specific anticancer treatments so please advise the staff if taking any of the following from an Oncologist;

  • atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ®),
  • ipilimumab (YERVOY®),
  • nivolumab (OPDIVO®)
  • pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®)


Welcome to Dr. Beth Walsh

Dr. Beth Walsh

Regular visitors to the practice will have noticed a new face at the Tarawera Medical Centre. Dr. Beth Walsh joined us in January of this year and has settled into the team very smoothly.

Prior to joining the practice she spent some time working at Whakatane Hospital so is familiar with the local healthcare services at both a primary and secondary level.