In the earlier years of his career, Dr Ngaei was a Junior Doctor in Christchurch before returning to Dunedin as a Surgical Registrar; during this time he was also studying towards a FRACS qualification. Currently based in Invercargill where he continues his practice as an Endoscopic and Gastrointestinal Surgeon, he is also the Chairman of the Pacific Island Advisory Charitable Trust in Invercargill. Dr Ngaei is a proud Cook Islander and remains as the Advisor to the Ministry of Health Government of the Cook Islands.
“The award came as a complete surprise. I accepted without hesitation and have had no regrets. It was certainly an honour to receive acknowledgement of my life long commitment to serving my profession, Cook Islands and Pacific communities. To me, being a doctor and surgeon was very much a way of life and a privilege.
Having grown up in a medical environment that was underpinned by our strong cultural values, it enabled me to overcome adversities and the many challenges I faced throughout my career.”
Dr Ngaei is grateful to serve Pacific communities and the opportunity to make a positive difference.
“I have been lucky and privileged to see and experience initiatives I had been involved with make positive contributions to the wellbeing of our Pacific communities here in Aotearoa New Zealand and in our home islands.”
He maintains his commitment to serving Pacific families and acknowledges PMA for honouring his work with a Life Award.
“I acknowledge the PMA Board for considering me for this honour and particular to Dr Kiki Maoate and Debbie Sorensen for their foresight, vision, determination and leadership in beginning the journey and transforming PMA to an organisation we can all be proud of.”
Date: Monday 21 November 2022.