All posts by Wendy

COVID-19 Level 2 – 14 May 2020


Access to the Practice will still be controlled -ie the internal front door will be shut and patients allowed entry one at a time.  Please ring for an appointment. This is to assist with contact tracing if required and minimising contact with other patients.

Where possible only the patient being seen will be admitted to the building.

The “Car Park Waiting Room” will be continue to be utilised for at least the next two weeks.

Screening questions regarding symptoms will continue to be asked when you phone for an appointment.

Some standard screening programmes will resume.

Drivers licencing renewals can be booked.

Consultations may be face to face, by phone or video and will all be charged at the same rate. Only patients with respiratory symptoms will be required to wear a mask.

If you have any respiratory symptoms (cough/runny nose/sore throat/acute loss of smell etc) please phone us to arrange a COVID-19 test – it is vital for these to be checked out and for unwell people to isolate themselves.

Thanks for adapting to our new mode of operation which we have had to adopt and for your understanding and patience.

Late nights will resume in June – if alert levels support this.


COVID-19 – We are open for business. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 call us, or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.  COVID-19 consultations are free to the patient.  We are still providing normal patient care so phone us for regular prescriptions, check ups and health issues.  Usual fees will apply for normal patient care.  It is important that people do not defer seeking advice on health concerns, please phone us – we can work out how it is best for us to help you – either by phone, video or face to face consultation.

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading and in turn risking the health of people with pre-existing conditions it is crucial that anyone who has symptoms of a COUGH, HIGH TEMPERATURE (38°C +) AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH and have recently been to a country or area of concern, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please telephone Healthline (for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) on 0800 358 5453.

When ringing Waikari Health Centre for an appointment please be aware that you will be asked about your overseas travel and any symptoms.

The best place to read up to date information is from the Ministry of Health on the following link:

The situation is changing constantly and General Practice is extremely busy reviewing and managing this on a daily basis, as well as looking after general health needs and administering flu vaccines.  We respectfully request that you are patient with us and each other in these challenging times.

New Permanent GP – Dr Kerr Wright

We are pleased to announce our new permanent GP starts 3rd March 2020.  Dr Kerr Wright was born, and trained as a GP, in Scotland and emigrated to New Zealand in 1995.  Kerr spent 14 years working as a sole GP in Opotiki before he ventured further afield undertaking GP locum work in New Zealand and remote hospital work in Australia.  After working in Aboriginal Health Service management in the Kimberley he and his wife returned to New Zealand, to a lifestyle block in North Canterbury, to be close to family.

Kerr has special interest in child health, emergency medicine and delivering healthcare to rural and remote communities. He has much experience in all facets of general practice and looks forward to providing quality healthcare to the people in our community.  Kerr particularly enjoys the rural, sole GP role.

When Kerr is not working he enjoys developing his lifestyle block and spending time with his family.  He may be seen out and about on his mountain bike, exploring, or heard playing his euphonium. 

Kerr is looking forward to meeting current and new patients to the area and enhancing healthcare in our community. 

Kerr’s days of work will be Tuesday – Friday, with late nights resuming on Thursdays. Dr Julia Racle continues working on Mondays.

Online Appointments

Waikari Health Centre has changed to a new version of Practice Management System and unfortunately the Online Booking system we had been using is not compatible yet. We will have an integrated online booking arrangement which should be in place during this week. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience. In the meantime you will need to phone in for an appointment.

**These are now up and running – just click on the Book Now button (directly above the map) on the opening page and follow the prompts.**

Late Night

We will be offering later appointments on Thursdays from 4 April 2019. The last available routine appointment will be 6.30pm . You can book online or by phoning the receptionist. This will be an initial trial for three months.

MMR Vaccine

Stocks of MMR vaccine are not expected to arrive into Christchurch until Wednesday 13 March 2019 – it is therefore unlikely that we will have any until Thursday 14 March at the earliest. If you have called and asked to be put on the list to have the vaccine we will contact you when it has arrived.

Waikari Hand Clinic

Waikari Hand Clinic

The Kaiapoi Hand Clinic is pleased to announce the introduction of a new hand therapy and rehabilitation service at the Waikari Health Centre.

The Waikari Hand Clinic will operate every Monday from the 25th February 2019 and will be operated by Leigh Law, an experienced registered hand therapist. Leigh works as a senior hand therapist at the Kaiapoi Hand Clinic and Pegasus Medical Centre and has 23 years experience working with the assessment, diagnosis and management of injury and non injury related conditions affecting the hand, wrist, forearm and elbow.

Common conditions treated by hand therapists include sprains, strains and fractures,
osteoarthritis, tennis elbow, trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome and post surgical rehabilitation. Referrals to specialists can be made if required.  

Patient referrals to see Leigh can be made by calling the Merivale Hand Clinic on
03 3559775.

New GP – Dr Ernesto Rodriguez de la Cruz

Waikari’s New GP:  Dr Ernesto de la Cruz   

Dr Ernesto de la Cruz grew up on the Caribbean island of Cuba, though for most of his adult life he has been living away from his birth country.

Since he was a teenager, Ernesto believed that being a Medical Doctor is one of the best ways to channel his passion to help others. In 1993 he graduated as a Doctor in Medicine from the Havana Medical University, he also met and married his wife Lisset who was doing her internship at the same University.

After a few years working as General Practitioners in several clinics in their hometown, they both decided to experience a completely different approach to Family Medicine, and 1997 saw them make the move to live and work in South Africa.

Despite working as a Doctor at a Primary Health Clinic, Ernesto had to also deal with all aspects of human health, including emergency hospital care, major surgical procedures and Anaesthesiology. While still in South Africa, 2001 saw the birth of their first son Ernesto Jr, in a rural hospital in the small country town where they both were working.

In 2002, saw their adventurous spirit rekindled and they moved to Spain, where they have been living for the past 15 years, and in 2006, Gabriel, their second son was born.

While watching a travel program on TV about New Zealand, with the beautiful vibrant landscape and kiwis outdoor way of living made them all fall in love with the country, and once again ideas were played with, a plan was hatched to investigate how they all could make the move to New Zealand.

With Ernesto working at the same practice for a number of years, with a heavy workload, the decision to actively seek a change saw the entire family plan their new venture, their move to New Zealand.

After a long and arduous process, Ernesto became registered in New Zealand, as a General Practitioner, and with the successful appointment as the GP for Waikari Health Centre, their new adventure begins.

Ernesto and his family enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Furthermore he loves music and sports,  especially football, which his two boys have been practising and playing since they were small.

Ernesto is looking forward to meeting existing patients of Waikari Health Centre and welcomes any new patients.