A Dame in our midst

Congratulations to Dr Teuila Percival, Consultant Paediatrician here with Kidz First, who became a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Health and the Pacific community, in the Kings Birthday honours list. 

It’s not her first time on the list either - in 2010 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, she became a companion of the Queens Service Order for her services to the Pacific Community.

Dr Percival has worked in Auckland as a Paediatrician in Auckland for almost 30 years, with a particular interest in Pacific people’s health, community child health and child protection.  

“Paediatrics is a great specialty. My patients are babies, children, and young people and their families so I get to think about children’s development and learning, as well as illness.”

Proud to work here at Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau, Teuila describes South Auckland as diverse, colourful and exciting.

“The people are a joy to work with. They are gracious and respectful.”

Teuila is Samoan and is very passionate about bringing change to the health of Pacific people, especially children, and has worked in both a clinical and research role in the Pacific region, including Samoa, Niue, Vanuatu, Tonga, Tuvalu and Tokelau. 

Her family are from Ofu in Manu’a and Puapua in Savaii.

“My parents moved to Sāmoa in the early 1960s, and we lived there for a few years. I came back to New Zealand when I was three and lived in Thames.

“Being Pacific means service for family, village and community comes first and if you are a doctor, it is, of course, just the same – we are here to serve and take care of our family and community”

She also credits her parents for inspiring her interest in health.

My father and mother, who met at a radiography school in Auckland, were both radiographers at Thames Hospital. Growing up. I would often go into their department and just hang out there, so I grew up around a little hospital. 

“That’s where my interest started and has grown to what it is now. For me, the social activism side of medicine is important, not just the science around it”  

“I feel so honoured to have received recognition like this. I kind of think my work is helping but it is nice to feel that others think so too. “

Well, we sure do! Congratulations Teuila.

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