Redwoodtown Doctors opened in 1986 when Jim and Ruth Vause moved to Blenheim from Central Otago following the birth of their first son, Andy. They began practising in a small house next to the chemist shop, with Penny Wytenburg joining Jim in 1987 as a registrar following her intern years at Wairau Hospital.  Later, the practice moved to 73a Cleghorn St, now the Nelmar building. In 1997 the former PostBank Redwoodtown building came up for auction, an option not to be missed, thus leading to the practice's current location at number 72. Shortly after this, Mark Pring from the UK was the next GP to join the practice.

Catrina Traini, a graduate from Aberdeen in Scotland, was the next doctor to expand the team, then in 2006, Phil Dashfield, who originally worked at Havelock, became the fifth doctor. 

From the start, the practice has been computerised, firstly with clinical notes and then progressively moving to a "paperless" office. Heather Hampton became practice receptionist in 1988.

In 1996, Donna Goulter joined as practice nurse, followed shortly thereafter by Kath Devine in 1998, and in 1999 Julie Nelson took the third nurse role of triage and patient liaison.  Caryl Thorn joined the nursing team after Kath Devine left for Picton. Cathy Hale, a diabetic educator nurse, was thereafter enticed into the practice team, fulfilling an important role to cater for the ever growing number of diabetics. Some years later,  Sally Gilmour extended the nursing role with expertise in smoking cessation and respiratory problems.  When Sally left to work for the PHO, Rebecca Malin took her place and has further developed the smoking cessation work.

Heather Hampton, following 12 years dedicated service in reception, moved to the dismal weather of Christchurch and was replaced by Lynelle Jackson. Alas, Lynelle, after some excellent work, chose motherhood as her next challenge, and Carla Heppelthwaite, who migrated to Marlborough from Rangiora, stepped into her role until her retirement in 2015. Denise Manning, Gail Ramsay, and Netty Batchelor have been previous members of the reception team which is now formed by long term administration staff member Felicity Roberts, Jane Smith, Gwen Prendiville, Karen Fisher and Jo Patchett. 

Cornerstone award with RNZCGP CEO Karen Thomas and founding manager Ruth Vause

Cornerstone award with RNZCGP CEO Karen Thomas and founding manager Ruth Vause

The continued expansion of the practice resulted in renovations in 2004/5 which added two extra consulting rooms and a patient toilet facility. About the same time, the practice became one of the first New Zealand General Practices to be accredited in the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners Cornerstone Practice Standards Quality program.

Following this, Emily Burgess from Masterton became a practice GP and then, with the retirement of Mark Pring at the end of 2014,  Kirsten Tucker joined the practice. Jo Muir, replaced Phil Dashfield when he moved to Wellington. Shortly thereafter,  Martina Suleiman joined to work part time in conjunction with Jo Muir.

In September 2015, founding manager and key person in the running of the practice for nearly 30 years, Ruth Vause, died suddenly following a short illness, an untimely event that coincided with Dr Kirsten Tucker leaving the practice and Dr Emily Burgess retiring with the arrival of her first child.  

Diane Chalmers took over Ruth's role as practice manager in late 2015 and has been successful in getting things back in shape. In late 2016, Dr Mehdi Maleki and Dr Natalie Reid became full time doctors.


After two years, Diane decided that retirement was her future and in October 2017 Jo Johnson became the new practice manager.