Dr Maarire Goodall graduated MB;ChB. from the University of New Zealand in 1959 (UNZ was disbanded soon afterwards!), served in Wakaari & Dunedin Hospitals, then studied carcinogenesis and endocrinology and graduated with an M.D. research degree in 1963 from Otago University, becoming ‘Dr Doctor’ to some (but Moeraki elders always called him Dr Spock). He worked and studied Buddhism in Thailand, and then moved to the United States on a postdoc fellowship. During his time in Chicago he was part of the “Freedom Riders” - groups of mainly young idealists from the north who rode buses into the heart of the southern states in support of the African American struggle for the right to vote in the South, and equality everywhere. They often got beaten up for their trouble. Several died.
Dr Goodall worked for nearly four years in Chicago Medical School’s Institute for Medical Research and became a professor of oncology before being called home to lead cancer research at Otago University (1966 – 1985). After serving nearly twenty years as Head of the Department of Cancer Research he agreed to take up a tenured professorship in the National Cancer Institute (& University of Maryland, USA), but at the last minute was asked instead to assist with research and procedure for the new Waitangi Tribunal, which he did for the next five years until cardiovascular ill health supervened.
Maarire founded two charitable research trusts (the Cancer Research Trust and the NZ Institute for Cancer Research Trust, which together provide a large capital endowment now supporting a fulltime research professor and several other cancer researchers at Otago University. He also founded the Manawapopore Trust, focussed especially on Ngāi Tahu studies and Māori culture.
After he ‘retired’ in late 1989 to become a gentleman publisher (his own description) he founded Aoraki Press, which published Harry Evison’s history of the southern Māori, “Te Waipounamu”. The book won both the 1993 NZ Author’s Award and Montana non-fiction Book of the Year.
Maarire is well remembered by many Māori graduates of Otago Medical School. “He called us together on a regular basis to feed us, support us and encourage us. It should be noted that to my knowledge he never cooked (unless it was a Māori Club hāngi) – he was well known to many Chinese restaurants and would cater for the gatherings of medical students by collecting chow mein or KFC party packs!” - recollection provided by Dr Rawiri Jansen.
Dr Tipene Leach asked Maarire to join moves to establish Te ORA, and before the first AGM when he was in Wellington hospital having cardiac surgery and acutely aware of his own mortality, he established the Maarire Goodall Award for excellence in serving Māori and Pasifika health.
Dr Goodall continues to provide endowment to support the Award in future years. The Award acknowledges and honours long service to patients, students and community, and unrecognised commitment to Māori or Pasifika health, identifying positive role models for our young folk.
The Award is decided annually by members of the executive of Te ORA, and is associated with the Maarire Goodall Oration – the opportunity for the recipient to address the Te ORA membership.
Many of Dr Goodall’s original scientific papers, some tribal essays, and other information is available at www.academia.edu (search: Maarire Goodall), or in a few academic theses. Another recent account is in the Otago Medical School 50th year Graduation Reunion book “Leaders of the Future” (pp70-72) compiled by Dr H. Bramwell Cook, to whom thanks are due for the photograph.