The Naturopathic College of New Zealand has been changing lives through natural health since 1979, and on 14 June 2019 graduates, students, past and present staff came together to reflect on – and celebrate – 40 years of learning and wellness, in a special event at Plymouth International.

For CEO Linda Weterman, the occasion provided the chance to honour the training provider’s journey over the last four decades and acknowledge the pivotal role it has played in shaping New Zealand’s natural therapies sector.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child – well, it also takes a village to raise a graduate. We have had more than 1700 graduates over the lifespan of the college, and we have students located throughout the entire length and breadth of New Zealand, from Kaitaia to Invercargill, New Plymouth to Gisborne.”

The Naturopathic College’s mix of blended and online learning makes it a popular choice for those wanting to improve their lives and the lives of others through natural therapies, with a range of programmes and qualifications in Health Sciences (Naturopathy and Nutrition) on offer.

“Our youngest graduate is 18 and our most mature 73 – that is definitely lifelong learning in action and a true example of New Zealand-wide learners.”

Paying tribute to her predecessors she said: “I would like to acknowledge Melva Martin the founder of Naturopathic College of NZ and Sonia Bruce who followed on from Melva, and who handed the baton to me. Without the vision of these two women, we would not be where we are today as a thriving college.”

Melva was one of the guest speakers at the celebration, inspiring attendees with her stories of starting up the college and her lifelong dedication to healthy living.

“I don’t take medicines, I don’t take supplements, I just live a good life,” she said.

And the best medicine? “Water!”

Other highlights included a powerful speech from highly regarded nutrition coach, author, teacher and business woman, Michelle Yandle, who shared her philosophy on empowered eating – a concept which she said had its roots in the medicine wheel of her indigenous Canadian ancestors and had strong similarities to Maori holistic health models.

“Empowered eating nourishes all aspects of our being, helping us make peace with food and live a rich and meaningful life,” she said.

It was a great reminder to keep it simple.

“Health doesn’t have to be complicated; it has just become complicated!”

With 40 years of good health now behind them, all those involved in the Naturopathic College of NZ are looking forward to very many more.

Linda acknowledged what it takes to be successful, “I have a strong team around me which has enabled us to grow and develop in our ability to offer true online learning alongside our workshops. I am excited to say that alongside the Naturopathic College we have also established a Business Management School which has further strengthened what we offer and brought more than a dozen new jobs to New Plymouth. Like other training organisations the college has evolved over the years however I hope the essence of Melva’s vision remains and has been realised.”

For the full photo album from the day click here.