Kia ora koutou. Greetings to you all.
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to Government House today. This is the third case-taking workshop I’ve hosted here and it’s great to see so many of you returning. For those of you attending for the first time, I’m sure you will enjoy today’s programme.
When Jerry and I arrived at Government House, in 2011, it was important to both of us that some of our patronages reflect our personal interests. As many of you will know, I’ve had a longstanding interest in health and wellbeing, particularly in holistic medicine.
I’ve studied homoeopathy and Bowtech. As a family, we‘ve successfully used complementary therapies alongside conventional medicine. So for me, patronage of the New Zealand Council of Homoeopaths was a natural fit, and an opportunity to give back and support the work of homoeopaths in New Zealand.
As patron of the New Zealand Council of Homoeopaths I’ve appreciated the opportunity to give practical help, and to provide a venue for these workshops. I’ve also enjoyed being able to join you as a workshop participant.
This is our final year in the Vice-regal role so there is an element of farewell to this speech. I’ve enjoyed the events I’ve attended, from Council events like the 2013 conference in Hamilton, to the AGM, workshop and dinner that I hosted in Auckland in 2014, to local events like these workshops here in Wellington.
One of the things I have been pleased to see is the work that’s being done to improve education, competence and professionalism amongst homoeopaths. This is important for gaining wider recognition. Despite criticism, interest in homoeopathy is growing. Many well-known people have talked publicly of their interest in or use of homoeopathy. That includes actors like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Whoopi Goldberg and Jane Fonda, musicians including the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and sports people like Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova.
I think homeopathy, in New Zealand, is in good hands. Homeopaths who belong to the Council have a high level of professionalism and dedication.
This was demonstrated to me, earlier this week by the homeopath I go to. She would not be swayed when I suggested a 30-minute consultation. In fact, I was reminded that she hadn’t seen me for more than 4 months. I was told that I needed a 45-minute consultation, and that she had allowed an hour!
The duration of the appointment was non-negotiable, and she stood firm. It is a position that I respect, even though it meant that I missed 30 minutes of a scheduled meeting at Government House. Anyway, the Governor-General was understanding and held the fort quite adequately in my absence.
Workshops like this, offering professional development, help to enhance standards of care, both for individual practitioners and the profession. It’s a chance to share experiences, advance your knowledge and network with other members of your profession. I’m sure what you learn here today will be put to good use in your practice.
I hope you enjoy your time here at Government House.