Congratulations to Dr Arish Naresh for his order of merit

Congratulations to our Speciality Medicine 1 program manager, Dr Arish Naresh who has been appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in recognition of service to the community and dentistry.

We are fortunate to have Arish leading our Speciality Medicine 1 program which covers renal, transplant services, immunology, rheumatology, clinical pharmacology and perioperative medicine.

With a background as a dental clinician, Arish is a strong advocate for improving access to oral health care and helped to set up the first publically funded maternal oral health program, which was later adopted in other parts of New Zealand. Arish believes that mid-level oral health providers play an important role in making oral care accessible for vulnerable communities.

Throughout his professional and community work, Arish has shown a passion for bridging the inequality gap and providing responsible leadership to young people and aspiring leaders.

Promoting diversity and inspiring youth to follow their dreams has been at the core of his extensive volunteer work.

Arish founded the #OWDSOCKS (Opportunities Without Discrimination) movement – a campaign using odd socks to raise awareness of discrimination and inequality. The brand OWD now makes its own socks and uses the profits to further their education and anti-bullying projects in schools.

He is also a White Ribbon Ambassador helping drive the movement to prevent family violence. Arish has also served as a Board Member for UNICEF NZ, represented NZ to United Nations as the youth lead for responsible leadership and currently is the President of International Oral Health Association.

“I’m from a humble family in Fiji and we grew up in poverty and were always reminded of our status and what we could achieve and what we couldn’t,” Arish said.

“For me it was breaking this barrier and achieving things as a migrant in New Zealand and I wanted to inspire other people to do the same. I fundamentally enjoy seeing other people grow and achieve.

“My vision for this role is that we should be creating leaders from the ground up and helping everyone feel connected and supported to make changes – always looking at what else can we do to contribute to the CALHN family.”