Te Hiku Hauora Dental Clinic are pleased to welcome Dr Zia Loo to their Kaitaia practice.

A Bachelor of Dentistry graduate from the University of Otago, Dr Loo arrived here at the start of June and is already adapting to life in the far north.

“I really enjoy the friendliness of people here. I can definitely feel a stronger sense of community in Kaitaia compared to when I was working in Wellington at the start of this year. The people at work have also been very supportive in making my transition here smooth.”

Dr Loo, who calls himself a ‘go getter’, says he chose dentistry as a career as he comes from a family with a strong medical background.

“Dentistry seemed to be a clear choice for me as a profession as it enables me to alleviate and help others in need in the most tangible way.”

He is a firm believer of being part and giving back to a community through providing help in areas where they need most.

“I believe good patient communication and prioritising patients’ needs are what makes for sound dentistry and that a career in dentistry is a life- long exercise of gaining and sharing knowledge.”

Originally from Borneo Island in Malaysia, Dr Loo has lived in New Zealand since the age of 15 to further his education, during which he has learnt to adapt to different living environments and cultures.

He has taken part in dental community work in the remote villages of Borneo Island, where he took on the role of translating between the dental staff and native speakers in the village. He also had the privilege of working as a tutor with mentally impaired students from Otago University and has volunteered in the New Zealand Special Olympics where he came across many athletes with Down Syndrome.

“I was involved in dental volunteering on various occasions as a dental student and from them I have improved on my skills and knowledge towards dentistry. I have learnt what it means to develop mental and physical toughness through my on-going training in unarmed military hand-to-hand combat in the past year in Dunedin. I believe one can achieve anything when they put their heart and mind into it 100%.”

An ‘outdoors man’, Dr Loo adds that he “can’t wait to get into diving and surfing when the weather warms up a bit.”