Life Members

Dr Paul Lam

Dr Paul Lam

Life Member

Dr Paul Lam - Bio

Dr Paul Lam

by Tamara Bennett, Senior Trainer TCHI)

Many of you are familiar with his tai chi career, but you may not know that he is also a medical doctor and practicing family physician in Sydney.  Dr Lam graduated from the University of NSW on a university scholarship in 1974. For more than 23 years Dr Lam has been a clinical teacher with the Family Medicine Program and lecturer in the University of NSW.

Dr Lam has been a tai chi teacher since 1976 and founded his Sydney-based tai chi school, Better Health Tai Chi Chuan over 22 years ago. Thousands of students have graduated from the school, which has expanded to now include 18 instructors. A number of tai chi schools in Australia are affiliated with the Better Health Tai Chi Chuan. He also founded the Tai Chi Association of Australia in 1999, and was their President for three years, and he has been a judge in many international tai chi competitions.

Dr Lam has not only designed a series of tai chi programmes which have improved the lives of millions of people around the world, he has written several books. His Tai Chi for Health Instructor training workshops are well recognised around the world. He has also encouraged, driven, and participated in over twenty ground-breaking research studies on the many ways in which tai chi can assist with the management of chronic conditions.

Dr Lam has devoted much of his own time and energy to travelling around the world and speaking at international health conferences. He has raised awareness amongst the medical community, of the usefulness of tai chi as an integrative health therapy.

Dr Lam is the Director of the Tai Chi for Health Institute, which was founded by him and his colleagues in 2009 to empower people to improve their health and wellness using the Tai Chi for Health programmes.

Dr Lam and his Master Trainers have held Tai Chi for Health workshops in NZ for over eleven years. And over ten years ago he generously extended the use of the Tai Chi for Arthritis programme to ACC and helped them develop their national Tai Chi for Falls Prevention programme. Even though ACC is no longer able to fund introductory classes, Dr Lam’s energy and enthusiasm will ensure that the programmes continue to flourish in NZ. His Tai Chi for Health programmes have now reached many thousands of people in New Zealand.

Dr Lam was an integral part in the establishment of TCHC NZ in 2010. He agreed to be an adviser for TCHC NZ and contributes generously, drawing on his years of experience with committees, boards and associations.

Dr Lam is dedicated to internationally promoting tai chi, for health and wellness. He has combined his knowledge of medicine, tai chi, and sport coaching to further this purpose. New projects include conducting workshops in more countries, training more instructors, and research of the health benefits of tai chi.

Hazel Thompsom

Hazel Thompsom

Life Member

Hazel Thompson - Bio

Hazel ThompsonHazel Thompson

July 2015 ~ Nominated by Ferne McKenzie and Seconded by Master Trainer Tamara Bennett

Hazel Thompson was the first elected Chair of TCHC NZ Inc and she was instrumental in the development of TCHC NZ, leading the organisation from an idea to the vital organisation which it is today.

Hazel has been playing at tai chi for more than 20 years and is passionate about Tai Chi for Arthritis, as it has helped her manage her own condition. Like many of us, as an instructor, she has seen countless individuals transform their lives through TCA, gaining confidence and well-being that has enabled them to overcome their personal barriers and live their lives to the full.

For the past five years, Hazel has been a TCHI Senior Trainer and has accompanied Dr Paul Lam through many countries videoing, helping to teach at his workshops and writing up little snippets in her monthly newsletter. For our Skype committee meetings, Hazel may have been in NZ, Singapore or some other part of the world.

Besides the position of Chair, she has produced a monthly newsletter, promoting a discounted Tai Chi Productions product, advertising TCH Instructor Training and Skill Building Workshops, write-ups of activities around the country, the occasional article and often a photo from the latest country from her world travels.

Like many of us, I have known Hazel for many years in her role as Dr Lam’s NZ Agent for Tai Chi Productions, as the ‘go-to’ person for Dr Lam’s DVD’s, books and other products. She has always been available to give sound advice to instructors and students alike.

Hazel has taken up many roles besides being our first Chair such as: developing the Tai Chi Productions NZ website, which she generously shares with TCHC NZ Inc; has had a huge input into the Tai Chi Productions organisation in both Australia and New Zealand and has been a recent manager of TCHI.

I have also known Hazel in her role as committee member of the New Zealand National Tai Chi Chuan Association, which is based in Christchurch and she also produced their quarterly Newsletter. For many years she has helped organise the NZNTCCA Festival of Tai Chi, held every November in Christchurch and I have traveled south a couple of times to participate in this. 

Hazel’s careers have included: television, sales management and running a medical centre, all of which she has enjoyed immensely, enabling her to develop many business and communication skills necessary for the development of TCHC in New Zealand.

It was with sadness that Hazel tendered her resignation as TCHC NZ Inc Chair, however she will not be completely lost to us; as she will continue to be Committee Member, Dr Lam’s NZ Agent for Tai Chi Productions, distributing educational products, giving advice, accompanying Dr Lam to places – several have been email challenging, organizing the 2016 Sydney workshop and overseeing the Tai Chi Productions office in Sydney.

We have all known Hazel in many ways and I would like to nominate her for the TCHC NZ Inc Lifetime Membership award which is granted every so often to those who have provided exceptional service to the Tai Chi for Health Community in New Zealand and for promoting Tai Chi for Health in Christchurch – as a fun, safe, effective and as a nurturing form of exercise and achieving all those other things mentioned above.

Anne Rose

Anne Rose

Life Member

Ann Rose - Bio

Ann Rose

Ann's bio photoFounder and Life member  Ann Rose is a Registered Nurse with a wide background in health who became a Tai Chi instructor in 2007and she has had the opportunity to put this training into practice. As part of her nursing Ann has worked in both medical nursing and older care (including rehabilitation)  and is therefore very aware of the consequences of falling. Ann feels very privileged to have been able to initiate the TCHC NZ group and knows that the organisation will flourish in NZ.

Toi Walker - Bio

Toi Walker

Born 16 Sept 1965 in Aotearoa (NZ).
Married to Janeen since 1988.
Father to four daughters and two sons.  
Papa to 3 mokopuna.

My hikoi (journey) with Tai Chi began in 2003 following Dr Paul Lam’s TCA program.  In 2004 I attended a Tai Chi for Arthritis (TCA) Instructor workshop in Australia with Dr Lam and his team.  In 2005 he invited me to attend the Master Trainer workshop.  As a Tai Chi for Health Institute Master Trainer, in partnership with ACC NZ, together we successfully completed over 50 TCA and Update workshops around Aotearoa within a 6 year period.  ACC focussed on tai chi as a falls prevention strategy to help prevent falls in elderly, helping to improve quality of life.  The benefits of tai chi as we all know extend way beyond just as a falls prevention strategy.
I wish to acknowledge and thank ACC IPC Program and Service Managers, Dr Paul Lam, TCHC NZ Inc for the dedication and hard work creating a better life for Whānau, Hapū, and Iwi.
A famous Maori proverb says, “He Tāngata… He Tāngata… He Tāngata…” ( ” It is People… It is People… It is People…”)

Ngā mihi ki a koutou katoa … Matua Toi

Tai Walker

Associate Members

Angela Brandt – Otago

Janet Chew – Wellington

Jacqueline Fuller – Wellington

Robert Haas – Napier

Andrew Harding – Feilding

Pat Henderson – Otago

David MacKenzie – Wellington

Marie Morgan – West Coast

 Annie Nevin – Otago

Jane Penton – Taupo

Jane Rees – Lower Hutt

Kay Russell – Bay of Plenty

Kathy Scahill – Kaitaia

Jeff Shepherd – Auckland


Student Members

Anna Cheetham – Horowhenua

Anna-Marie Durie – Auckland 

Keren Graham– Otago

Margaret Mouat – Wellington