Panting commends others for his award

SARAH DUNN
Last updated 13:00 31/12/2013

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Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Allan Panting says his membership into the New Zealand Order of Merit is not just about him.

"The award reflects the people around me more than me personally."

He was given the MNZM as part of the 2014 New Year Honours list. Dr Panting works at Nelson Hospital for the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, and has served as secretary and president of the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association.

He was given the association's top award in 2006, and also holds the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Colin McRae Medal.

The first member of his Otago-based family to attend university, Dr Panting said he had tried to remember his roots as he progressed in his career. He trained in Christchurch before working at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.

"I recognise I've been in a position of privilege for much of my life as a result of the opportunities I have been given, and I try to reflect that."

He has lived in Nelson since 1980. As well as working for the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, Dr Panting works for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in a number of roles. These include examining people who hope to become surgeons, and, ironically, nominating other surgeons for awards.

He said he had "no idea" who had nominated him.

"I'm quite familiar with the process but I never expected my name to come up."

Dr Panting has also worked with the New Zealand Vietnam Health Trust since 1996, and has carried out voluntary orthopaedic work in the Vietnamese area of Qui Nhon.

"All these things, I think I've gained much more than I've contributed, really," he said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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