Pitopito Kōrero News & Updates

Pharmacist prescriber Leanne Te Karu

Published February 5 2016


Our very own pharmacist prescriber Leanne Te Karu (Muaūpoko/Whanganui), presented a workshop at the National Rural Health conference. Luckily Buzz Burrell was able to catch her for a quick interview during a break.



A fantastic advocate for Maori Pharmacists, clinical pharmacy and pharmacist prescribers, Leanne runs a clinic in Turangi where she works with whanau to understand key health messages.

One of Leanne’s colleagues has said of Leanne “her ability as a clinical pharmacist and medicines use researcher are second to none. Her ability to speak and present to others on her knowledge of the use of medicines (particularly with Māori) is outstanding”.





Leanne is a founding member of the Maori Pharmacists Association and Past President. She has also been a member of the Pharmacy Council for over three years, is a clinical advisor for Best Practice Advocacy Centre, an advisor for the Health Quality Safety Commission, and a member of the Ministry of Health appointed Pharmacy Steering Group Committee.


Leanne is a Pharmacist Prescriber with 25 years’ experience of pharmacy practice across hospital and primary care.

“I know pharmacists can make a difference to health outcomes. We are in an ideal position to transfer knowledge and bridge the gap between the health system and people,” says Leanne.


Leanne Te Karu (Muaūpoko/Whanganui) DipPharm (Distinction), PG Cert Pharm (Prescribing), PG Cert Pharm (Herbal Meds), PG Dip ClinPharm (Distinction), MHSC (Hons), RegPharmNZ

See more of Leanne’s profile here


Leanne trained at the School of Pharmacy in Heretaunga and since this time has practiced in a wide variety of fields continually focusing on Māori health.  Education has continued to play an important part in Leanne’s life with a number of post-graduate qualifications leading to her achieving pharmacist prescriber status in 2013.

In 2003, the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand convened a group of pharmacists to assist with developing a strategy for Māori Health.  Leanne was seen as a key contributor, leading to her initiative to create “Ngā Kaitiaki o Te Puna Rongoā o Aotearoa – The Māori Pharmacists Association”.  Leanne became the joint President of this organisation and before long this group of pharmacists became a truly autonomous entity with its own sense of purpose.

Leanne has demonstrated that through perseverance and determination it is possible to bring about tangible and meaningful changes such as the Māori Health Strategy for the Pharmacy Profession and the integration of specific elements of hauora Māori into the competence standards for pharmacists.

For the work that Leanne performed in establishing MPA, her work within Māori communities and her immense personal support to Māori pharmacy students, the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand bestowed upon her its award for Services to Māori in 2012. Leanne’s leadership and initiative in clinical areas saw her named the inaugural MIMS—Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand Pharmacist of the Year award in 2013.

Leanne’s passion and commitment to pharmacy has also been recognised by the Minister of Health with her appointment to the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand where she continues to lead the pharmacy profession.

Leanne is a committed pharmacist and continues to work tirelessly for the advancement of Māori and the advancement of the pharmacy profession.