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 (details needed here)

Patti_Simonsen
Patti SimonsenClinical Nurse LeaderRegistered Nurse and Ophthalmic Assistant

Patti has been working at Eye Specialists since 2006, and has... been the clinical nurse leader since 2010. Patti says, ‘I am passionate about keeping up to date with the latest technologies, keeping our nurses up to date on education and striving for the best outcome for our patients. I am a very active and busy person. Working full time and running after 3 children, I never have a dull moment. ‘

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.

HayleeBanks
Haylee BanksRegistered Nurse

Haylee has been with Eye Specialists since 2016, after returning... to Whangarei from London. Haylee works in theatre and in the clinics, and enjoys the variety of work this combination provides. Haylee enjoys being part of a busy team, dedicated to providing excellent service to our patients.
Haylee is a busy mother with all fun and excitement of a young child.

Alfiya Laxmidhar
Alfiya LaxmidharRegistered Nurse

Alfiya has been a Registered Nurse since 2010. She has... experience working in operating theatres and medical centres. She has worked at Eye Specialists since the beginning of 2017, and really enjoys working here as she is able to combine both her surgical and clinical skills.
Alfiya is new to living in Whangarei, and by working at Eye Specialists she has met so many wonderful people which makes it a joy to work here.

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.

Bridget_Lambert
Bridget LambertRegistered Nurse

Bridget is a mother of 3 children who are full of beans. She has... been working as a Registered Nurses part-time at Eye Specialists since 2012.

She comes from a background in Intensive Care, and is working in the theatre and post-operative area. She is currently transitioning to also work in the clinics.

Bridget is a busy and energetic mother and nurse, and adds humour and liveliness to the Eye Specialists team.

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.

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.

AndreaHunt
Robyn LowAdministrative Secretary

Robyn has been with Eye Specialists since 2009 and in that time... has taken courses in communication and cultural studies to broaden her ability to deal with all our clients. When Robyn is away from work she enjoys time with her family, walking, kayaking and she loves to travel - but watch out, Robyn is also a trained dental therapist!

Jill Greig
Jill GreigAdministrative Receptionist

Jill has been working with Eye Specialists since 2015, before... which she worked in administration at Whangarei Hospital. Jill enjoys working at Eye Specialists as part of a happy and dedicated team, focussed on excellent service and care for clients.
In her spare time Jill enjoys knitting, reading and travel.

AndreaHunt
Andrea HuntAdministrative Receptionist

Andrea was born and raised in New Plymouth, and relocated to... Whangarei in 2016 after living for 4 years in the Central Queensland outback.
In her spare time, Andrea enjoys spending time with her family, music, art and doing voluntary work for community organisations.

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.

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.

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.’