Our Team

At Eye Specialists we work as tightly knit team. Each of us plays our part to ensure your procedure or operation goes as smoothly as possible.
From making you feel welcome the moment you walk in the door, through to your initial consultation, your procedure or operation and your post-operative care, we’ll be there. Many of our patients feel so relaxed – they phone in or pop by to chat with our nurses, post operatively.

Dr Brian Kent-Smith Ophthalmologist

Brian Kent-Smith is the owner and team leader of Eye Specialists.
Born in South Africa.
Medical degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Specialised at St John Eye Hospital, part of Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. He has undertaken many thousands of operations. He’s backed up ably with the enormously capable team at Eye Specialists as well as 13 partners at Auckland Eye, who regularly provide second and third opinions if and when they’re required.
Fellow of the College of Surgeons of South Africa (Ophthalmology) 1995
Fellow of the Royal Australian and NZ College of Ophthalmologists 2006
Employed by Whangarei Area Hospital since 1997
Part time private practice since 2000
Personal interests: cycling, running, swimming, fishing, scuba diving, photography.

Dr Paul Cohen Ophthalmologist

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Medical degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Emigrated to Israel where he specialised in Ophthalmology in Jerusalem.
Completed a Fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus in Oxford, England.
Ran the Paediatric Ophthalmology unit in Shaare Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem.
Has worked at Eye Specialists since (details needed here)
Personal interests include: (We need something here for Paul)

Brian_Kent-Smith
Dr Brian Kent-SmithOphthalmologist

Brian Kent-Smith is the owner and team leader of Eye... Specialists.
Born in South Africa.
Medical degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Specialised at St John Eye Hospital, part of Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. He has undertaken many thousands of operations. He’s backed up ably with the enormously capable team at Eye Specialists as well as 13 partners at Auckland Eye, who regularly provide second and third opinions if and when they’re required.
Fellow of the College of Surgeons of South Africa (Ophthalmology) 1995
Fellow of the Royal Australian and NZ College of Ophthalmologists 2006
Employed by Whangarei Area Hospital since 1997
Part time private practice since 2000
Personal interests: cycling, running, swimming, fishing, scuba diving, photography.

Paul_Cohen
Dr Paul CohenOphthalmologist

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Medical degree at the... University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Emigrated to Israel where he specialised in Ophthalmology in Jerusalem.
Completed a Fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus in Oxford, England.
Ran the Paediatric Ophthalmology unit in Shaare Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem.
Has worked at Eye Specialists since 2014.

Lynne_Grose
Lynne GroseManager

Lynne has been working in health management since 1992 in a wide... variety of positions. She has been with Eye Specialists since the end of 2006. Lynne says, ‘my goal is to create a great work environment for our staff, and to deliver a service that provides excellent care for our patients – who are what this organisation is all about.’

Tricia_MacDonald
Tricia MacdonaldRegistered NurseOphthalmic Assistant

Tricia has been employed at Eye Specialists since 2007, working... in both the clinic and theatre areas. Her goal is to provide safe, professional care to all clients who visit Eye Specialists.
In her spare time - when she gets some - Tricia enjoys walking, gardening and outdoor activities.

Jon_Gulick
Jon GulickRegistered NurseOphthalmic Assistant

As part of our nursing team at Eye Specialists Jon prepares... patients for surgery, assist with post-operative care, and administers the various tests and procedures we do here that are involved in maintaining vision and healthy eyes.
Jon makes his own surf boards and is involved with the Surf Life Saving movement in New Zealand.

Ashleigh
Ashleigh MalcolmRegistered Nurse

Ashleigh joined the Eye Specialists team in June 2018 after... returning from Canada. She has been working in Ophthalmology clinics for the past two years, including a busy Eye Clinic in Vancouver. Ashleigh works in theatre and clinics and loves the variety this provides. Ashleigh enjoys fishing, hockey, travel and golf.

Amanda
Amanda PirretRegistered Nurse

Amanda joined Eye Specialists in August 2018.
Her nursing... background includes many years as a theatre nurse.
Amanda is working in both clinic and theatre and is enjoying the patient contact, variety and being part of our busy team.
She has two active young teenagers with whom she shares a love of the outdoors, water and horses.

George
George MackayRegistered Nurse

George joined the Eye Specialists team in October 2018, after... returning to Whangarei from the Middle East. George works with our patients pre and post-operative surgery, in the clinics and diagnostic testing. He enjoys the variety of work this combination provides. George enjoys being part of a busy team, dedicated to providing excellent service to our patients. He is a father of two boys, and enjoys fishing diving and golf

Jo_Delemare
Jo DelemareRegistered Nurse

Jo has been working part-time at Eye Specialists since November... 2012 as the nurse in recovery area. She trained as a Registered Nurse at Northland Polytech and after graduating worked on the general medical and short-stay surgical wards at Whangarei Hospital before starting a family.
Jo and her husband have 3 lovely children who keep them very busy!
Jo returned to work at the hospital part-time before taking on her current role at Eye Specialists in the post-op are. Jo says ‘I thoroughly enjoy my role and love being part of the team here.’
In her spare time she enjoys gardening, sewing and crafting, water skiing, squash, piano and spending time with her family.

VG
Vanessa GrayAdministrative Secretary

Vanessa joined Eye Specialists in 2018, has a background in... finance, administration, IT and road safety education.
She has worked for large corporate companies, as well as smaller businesses, with many years working in the charitable sector both here in New Zealand and in the UK.
Vanessa enjoys fishing, cooking, modern jive dance, reading and art.

Andrea_Hale
Andrea HaleReceptionist

Andrea has been with Eye Specialists since 1999, and has had the... privilege of watching the practice grow from the beginning.
She immigrated from Hawaii in 1971 to New Zealand and has been living in beautiful Northland since 1981.
She loves her job, has 3 grown children and is currently farming with her husband.

Jo
Joanne HouldenAdministrative Receptionist

Joanne Houlden joined the team in 2018 as an Administrative... Receptionist.
Joanne emigrated from England in 2015 where she worked for a medical computer company as a software analyst.
She is currently working on her Prince 2 Project Management qualification. When she is not glued to a computer screen, Joanne spends time with her family and teaching her son how to cook.

tinapollard
Tina PollardAdministrative Receptionist

Tina joined the team in 2019 as a part-time Admin Receptionist. ... She has a background as dental admin receptionist.
Tina settled in Whangarei 13yrs ago after marrying her husband in the Hokianga. She keeps busy with her two boisterous boys who both love rugby. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling and boating with the family.

Lianne_Powell
Lianne PowellSterlising TechnicianGlaucoma Technician

In 2012 Lianne had a career change from being a travel agent,... and has been with Eye Specialists ever since. Her duties involve sterilisation of the surgical equipment, scanning optic nerves, visual field testing ad checking for glaucoma. Lianne has achieved her sterilisation CSD certificate and believes her strength is being a team player. Outside of the workplace she enjoys travel and gardening.

Maureen_Penwarden
Maureen PenwardenSterlising TechnicianOrdering and Store

Maureen has been a vital part of the Eye Specialists team since... 2006, when she completed the sterilising course. She keeps up to date with the latest courses and conferences, and takes personal responsibility of the day to day organisation of CSD to ensure it all flows well with operating lists, making sure all equipment is ready on time and as required for each individual case. This takes a great level of time management and team work.
Maureen previously worked in aged care nursing and now spends her spare time in the garden and with her lovely grandchildren.

Rose
Rose ArnerichEnrolled NurseHand Holder

Rose is an Enrolled Nurse and joined the Eye Specialists team in... 2018, she has worked in Aged Care for many years in Australia and New Zealand.
Rose enjoys piano music, gardening, spending time with family and her grandchildren.
As our hand holder, Rose will sit with you throughout your surgery and make it a calm and comfortable experience.

Katherine Simmons
Katherine SimmonsSterilising Technician

Katherine has been working as Sterilising Technician since early... 2017. She enjoys working as part of a busy and active team, ensuring instruments are sterilised to a high standard for all operations and procedures.
In her spare time Katherine enjoys gardening, renovating and keeping busy with lots of projects.

Clare Silson
Clare SilsonSterilising Technician

Clare has been a qualified Sterilising Technician since 2008,... she currently works part time at Eye Specialists and also part time at the Northland Orthopaedic Clinic. She thoroughly enjoys her work and the responsibility of ensuring all equipment and instruments used are ready and on time for use in theatre, she strives to maintain a high standard throughout the CSD department. Part of the enjoyment is working along-side a great team at Eye Specialists. In her downtime she enjoys learning about natural products and nutrition, long bush walks, crafts and her garden.

Sandy Wilson
Sandy WilsonSterilising Technician

Sandy started work as a Sterilising Technician at Eye... Specialists in late 2017, she has 11 years of experience. She enjoys being part of a busy dedicated team
Family, Grandchildren and Friends are a very important part of Sandy's life. She loves to travel, garden and op shop.