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Dr Mark Worthington facial reconstructive surgery, implants and corrective surgery of the

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 01:36 PM

Mobile workforce keeps Taranaki ticking

Last updated 15:29, April 9 2015

http://www.stuff.co....aranaki-ticking


For some people, life on the road is part of the reality of working in Taranaki.

According to Venture Taranaki, while 98 per cent of people in the region work here, they are not necessarily employed in the same town they live in.

And some come from even further afield for their regular work shifts.

This includes Dr Mark Worthington, who commutes every fortnight from Auckland to New Plymouth to provide dental implant surgical services to people living in the region.

He says over the 12 years he had been coming to New Plymouth, he saw familiar faces on the same flights as him too, all bringing their skills to the region for a set period of time.

This group includes those working in the engineering, legal and medical professions.

"I keep seeing the same faces week in and week out."

He initially came to the area in January 2003 after the death of oral surgeon Guy Lawton in a 2002 plane crash.

Lawton specialised in facial reconstructive surgery, implants and corrective surgery of the jaw.

Worthington initially worked once a month in the city to fill the gap left by Lawton's death but upped his hours over time due to the demand for his services.

He is also a registered specialist implant provider to the ACC.

A typical trip for the Newmarket-based father of three involves an early wake-up call every other Tuesday so he can catch a flight to New Plymouth which arrives about 7.30am.

He is often booked solid for two days of treatments, assessments and check ups before he catches his return flight home on Wednesday afternoons.


During his time in New Plymouth, Worthington stays at the Nice Hotel where he usually manages to get the same room to sleep in.

"I can leave my pillow there, " he quips.

While Worthington comes from outside the region, Venture Taranaki (VT) chief executive Stuart Trundle said Taranaki's growing population had also become more mobile in terms of employment.

While most towns in the region have between 1-2 per cent of their residents leaving Taranaki for work, Waverley had a whopping 14 per cent, many of whom head to Whanganui.

VT's report on work-life patterns was released last year and Trundle said it showed an increasing trend of people travelling to other parts of Taranaki for work.

"There is this incredibly dynamic workforce which is working all around the mountain."

While Waitara has the highest proportion of people who work outside of the town on 70 per cent, Bell Block was the most common destination for workers travelling around the province.

Trundle says those who work away from the town they live in often earn more too.

For Worthington, the experience of visiting New Plymouth on a regular basis provides him with more than just financial benefits. "This place, it punches so far above its weight, it's exceptional."

He regularly walks in the city and eats at its restaurants and cafes. He said he especially loved the TSB Bank Festival of Lights and plans to go to Womad next year.

Nice Hotel owner Terry Parkes says many of the people who come to the city for business return for pleasure at a later date, often bringing their families along too.

He says the economic injection for the district is measurable through money spent on accommodation, shopping and other activities they did while staying here.

"It's a good bread and butter thing for the economy."

He says the arts scene and numerous festivals in the district are also potential drawcards.

"People that come to town are absolutely astonished about what goes on here."

- Taranaki Daily News
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