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Upon his return to New Zealand, he was instrumental in the development of Burwood Hospital's burns unit, and later set up a plastic surgery unit at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, going on to train generations of young surgeons and nurses.
The new book about his life, called Perfection: The Life and Times of Sir William Manchester, has been written by one of his students, Earle Brown, and one of Brown's students, Mike Klaassen.
Klaassen spoke to RNZ about Sir Bill's extraordinary life and legacy: