At the recent Acupuncture NZ AGM and conference in Wellington, Debra Betts was awarded our organisation’s highest honour, the William Wong Doo Award. The award is named after our first President and was presented to Debra by Selwyn Wong Doo, William’s son. Selwyn was also one of our founding members. The William Wong Doo award is presented to those members of Acupuncture NZ who have shown outstanding dedication to the profession. All members are invited to put forward nominations for the award and the final decision is made each year by the Acupuncture NZ Council. Debra has been a member of our organisation since February 1994 and served as the Wellington Regional Representative from 2004 to 2005.

 Debra has practiced in pregnancy related acupuncture care for more than 20 years. She lectures internationally on the use of acupuncture in maternity care and her publications include her 2006 text book “The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth” which has subsequently been translated into French and German.

 Leading by example, Debra completed her PhD on the use of acupuncture for threatened miscarriage in 2014. This was the first acupuncture PhD in New Zealand. Debra has been a long time teacher and mentor at the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and TCM (NZSATCM) and was instrumental in establishing the school’s post-graduate programme – again a first for New Zealand.

 In conjunction with NZSATCM, Debra established the clinic for pregnant women at the Hutt Hospital. More recently she has set up a low-cost clinic for pregnant women in Newtown Wellington.

Debra’s downloadable booklet “Acupuncture and Acupressure for Pregnancy and Childbirth” is for practitioners as well as prospective parents and birth supporters. It is available online in ten languages. There is also an APP and a DVD of the same material.

 Over the years Debra has always been very generous in sharing her knowledge with practitioners and patients. She is without doubt, a worthy recipient of the William Wong Doo Award for 2019.


Debra with her nominee Kate Roberts and Selwyn Wong Doo, son of William Wong Doo, the first President of Acupuncture NZ (formerly the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists.)