A woman credited with single-handedly getting Pacific health into the medical curriculum in New Zealand has taken out a supreme award for teaching excellence.
Otago University's Faumuina Associate Professor Fa'afetai Sopoaga was given the Prime Minister's Supreme Award for Excellence in Tertiary Teaching.
She's credited for her work to improve the health of Pacific people, as well as getting more Pasifika training to become doctors.
Faumunia instituted programmes that immersed medical students in Pacific communities and cultures, as a way of boosting understanding.
She said it was vital for both students, Pacific communities, and the health system in general.
"No matter how good you are as a diagnostician, unless you can transfer that across those technical skills and engage well with your patient and your patient opens up to you, they can never freely fully benefit from the expertise that you have."