A Far North iwi is determined to find a way to keep a popular doctor in Kaitaia.
Dr Lance O'Sullivan has left his position Te Hauora o Te Hiku o Te Ika, unhappy it can't subsidise medical treatment for those he says are most in need.
Te Rarawa chairman Haami Piripi says it's hard enough to attract doctors to the region and they can't afford to lose the skill or passion of Dr O'Sullivan.
"It is a very rare resource, not very often that we have doctors that come out of our own communities and come home to work for a lesser wage than they may get somewhere else in the world."
Te Hauora o Te Hiku o Te Ika says it has accepted, with regret, Dr O'Sullivan's resignation.
Dr O'Sullivan says he wants to practice medicine under different philosophical conditions.
"We work in a system which is not optimal, it doesn't meet the needs of those that have the most dire health requirements. I don't think I've got all the answers but I'm sure as hell keen to look at how we can do things differently."
Lance O'Sullivan says he's also committed to staying in Kaitaia.
Photo: Doctor Lance O'Sullivan (NZ Herald)