Quality care for all

As an advocate for quality dental care that’s affordable, dentist Peter Kim feels right at home working at the central Auckland based innovative health organisation, The Fono.



Having graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from the University of Otago in 2011, he’s worked at a private practise in his home town of Rotorua and in the public sector.


Seeing The Fono’s approach to dentistry appealed to Peter as did the opportunity to move from his hometown to Auckland.


“I enjoyed working at a private practice there (Rotorua), but I was looking for a change.”


The central clinic caters to a range of patients including professionals working in the city, international students, immigrants and residents of the central city.


Peter says the common thread is providing quality, affordable dental services to all patients, whatever their needs.


“Dentistry is quite expensive in New Zealand and I share The Fono’s aim to provide quality care at an appropriate level which patients can pay for,” he says.

Kim’s family are originally from South Korea. They moved to Australia then decided to make Rotorua their home after spending a holiday there. Peter says it was a great place to grow up and both his parents still live there with a food business in the city as well as Tauranga.


“Coming from Korea, I think a strong work ethic is instilled into us.”


While studying dentistry at the University of Otago, he made many friends and acquaintances including Clinical Director of The Fono Dental Mowafaq Amso, who was the year ahead of him.


He then went on to work at Wellington Hospital.


“Once you graduate, you’re offered the chance to work at a hospital. There are only 30 to 40 spaces on offer each year nationwide,” he says.


“I was keen to take the opportunity and was able to learn lots of key surgical skills being alongside maxillofacial surgeons (OMS) who are trained in dentistry, medicine and facial surgery. They’re often working on people in traumatic situations and I learnt so much in terms of developing surgical skills.”


Working at the coalface at a large public hospital was also a humbling experience.


“At dental school in Dunedin it’s pretty easy because as part of your course you’re dealing with elderly people who need a bit of work done and they don’t have to pay.


“But at the big hospitals you’re dealing with people whose options are limited. They can’t afford proper treatment. The teeth that cause them trouble are pulled out, which exposes them to more problems.”


Now, he says he is enjoying the best of both worlds at The Fono, where the team are focused on delivering preventative oral health care with quality dental services while raising awareness of good oral health practices.


“The chance to share The Fono’s vision in a big, multicultural city while in my mid-20s is pretty appealing.”


About The Fono


The Fono provides affordable services including medical, dental, pharmacy, health promotion, social services, education and Whanau Ora. They deliver a combination of these services across five locations. With combined experience of five separate clinics stretching over 80 years, The Fono aims to be a leader in health for the people who need it the most, fostering well, safe, vibrant and informed communities.


Click here to view The Fono’s website