About us

Who is Peter Barron?

Peter Barron is a down to earth, approachable straight talker who is not afraid to tell it like it is. With 40 years’ experience in pharmacy he is well respected in the community for his knowledge, expertise, leadership and honesty. Sometimes controversial, Peter has spoken out on behalf of many to help ensure our future health system is as good as it should be.

Peter has have had a long career in community pharmacy as a community pharmacist, a pharmacy owner, an educator, an elected member of the Southern DHB, as the Radio Pharmacist and most importantly as a tireless and continuing advocate for pharmacy and pharmacists in their role as a core part of the primary health care team.

His success and popularity as The Radio Pharmacist, originally on Radio Dunedin, and now on OAR 105.4FM has highlighted a community need for direct, open and honest communication that doesn’t baffle or confuse.

Peter has a knack for communicating simply and clearly in terms that you can understand and relate to.

Peter gains a great deal of satisfaction from helping people solve health-related problems and working with them to understand their medication, and especially to ensure that they understand the importance of a providing their body with the essential ingredients that are the building blocks of good health and preventative medicine.

He understands that the diagnosis and subsequent prescription and management of medication can be a frightening place for many people to be. His mission as a pharmacist is to help you feel confident with your medication, and ultimately to become empowered and take control of your health.

A pioneer and an innovator, Peter has introduced new models of pharmacy practice into New Zealand

Highly driven and achievement oriented with a strong respect for nature, Peter has been a keen mountaineer and climber. The philosophy behind mountaineering is that you aim for the top. This is ultimately what guides you. Peter has encapsulated this life philosophy in the following traditional Maori proverb:

Whaia te iti kahurangi
Ki te tuohu koe
Me he maunga teitei

If you are going to bow your head then let it be to a lofty mountain.


Born in Southland, New Zealand, Peter grew up in a rural environment in a happy home, grateful for the care of his parents and family. Even though he now lives in the city he remains rural at heart and regards himself as a country person. Peter went to the University of Otago in the 1970’s when the world was going through a massive upheaval. It was the era of challenge and protest and huge social upheaval. Peter became heavily involved in student politics, protesting and speaking out on the behalf of others, a trait that he has carried through to the present day.

In 1974 he graduated as a pharmacist and bought his first pharmacy in 1976 in Tokomaru Bay north of Gisborne in the Tairawhiti (East Coast) region of the North Island of New Zealand.

Living within a predominantly Maori community had a significant effect on his values and beliefs, shaping his sense of leadership, decision making ability, and respect for others.

Peter lived and worked in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu for over 10 years before returning to New Zealand in 1992. On his return to New Zealand he worked part-time as a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Otago.

Peter Barron Today

Whilst Peter still practices as a community pharmacist his other interests increasingly take him away from the pharmacy dispensary.

Peter has always been at the forefront of changes in the professional practice of pharmacy. Modern pharmaceuticals are a cornerstone of modern healthcare and he is passionate about ensuring that people are well informed about their use to ensure that they get the benefits that modern medicines offer.

Equally he believes that if we are to live long and healthy lives then we need to ensure that our bodies have all the necessary essential building blocks such as vitamins and minerals – the super-foods.

The concept of the Radio Pharmacist developed as a way for Peter to communicate his thoughts to his customers. What became very clear to him was that many health professionals were failing to communicate adequately with patients/customers/clients and that there is a public hunger for clear simple authoritative information delivered without jargon in a style that is easy to understand.

The Radio Pharmacist website is an exciting new extension of this process that will allow people worldwide to share in Peter’s vision.

As a pharmacist innovator Peter is committed to the Treaty of Waitangi and to addressing the disproportionate illness burden born by Maori and Pasifika people and those who live in rural communities and who come from socially-disadvantaged communities.

Qualifications and Memberships

  • Bachelor of Pharmacy (B Pharm)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • MPS (Member of Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand)
  • PSA (Member of Pharmaceutical Society of Australia)
  • Certificate in Maori Studies
  • Diploma in Teaching English as a second a language (TESOL)
  • AACNEM (Associate Member Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine)