Māui Pōmare was the first Māori medical doctor. He graduated in the US in 1899 and practised in New Zealand. He became a Māori officer of health in 1901 and toured Māori districts in this role, advising people about public health. He was concerned about living conditions of Māori, and burned 1,900 deserted whare in three years because he saw them as a health risk. Pōmare became a member of Parliament in 1911 and was minister of health in the 1920s.
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