The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) is deeply saddened by the passing of Emeritus Distinguished Professor Richie Poulton CNZM, New Zealand Clinical Psychologist and long-serving Director of the University of Otago’s renowned Dunedin Study.
Professor Poulton’s distinguished career has had a positive impact in both New Zealand and internationally. He was the Director of the University of Otago’s Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Otago and founder and Co-Director of the National Centre for Lifecourse Research, the founder of the Longitudinal Study New Zealand and the Chief Science Advisor for Ministry of Development.
His work has been honoured with several awards including the University of Otago’s Distinguished Research Medal and most recently, the Dunedin Study being awarded the prestigious Rutherford Medal in 2022.
Fellow colleague and PMA President, Dr Kiki Maoate MNZM, expresses his heartfelt condolences to Professor Poulton’s family during this time.
“We remember his tremendous dedication to his work and acknowledge the support system that allowed him to dedicate the last two and a half decades to the betterment of life for New Zealanders and the rest of the world. His presence will be missed, but we know his legacy will continue to make an impact.”
PMA Chief Executive, Debbie Sorensen, acknowledges Professor Poulton’s service and leadership.
“Professor Poulton was well respected and a dear friend to many of our PMA members and the Pacific. We’re grateful for his leadership and the meaningful work he carried out during his career to ensure all lives were improved with the lessons from the study. His service in his role as the Director of the Dunedin Study demonstrated his passion and commitment to all the communities he served.
“He has left an enduring legacy for all New Zealanders. As a PMA family, we send our condolences to Dr Sandhya Ramrakha and daughter Priyanka and his extended family and loved ones during this time.”
Director for Va’a o Tautai – Centre for Pacific Health, Division of Health Sciences at the University of Otago and PMA Member, Faumuina Professor Fa’afetai Sopoaga, spoke highly of Professor Poulton’s character and dedication to his work.
“Emeritus Distinguished Professor Richie Poulton and his wife Dr Sandhya Ramrakha have always been supportive of our work and Pacific aspirations at the University of Otago. He is known internationally for his work known as the Dunedin Study, where he was the Director since 2000.
“His level of dedication to research, and the communities he served has been outstanding and this loss will be felt by people around the world. His mana, presence and warm smile will be missed.”
Moe mai rā e te rangatira.