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From a humble villa to being the vanguard of eye care

NORTH & SOUTH + AUCKLAND EYE

From a humble villa to being the vanguard of eye care

In 1993, a visionary group of ophthalmologists planted the seeds of what would become Auckland Eye, aiming to create New Zealand’s first subspecialty eye care facility. Their ambition was straightforward yet revolutionary: to offer comprehensive care for all aspects of ocular health under one roof. Today, as Auckland Eye marks its 30th anniversary, it stands as the leading private eye care provider in the nation.

The journey began in a charmingly refurbished villa in Newmarket/Remuera, which has since expanded into multiple state-of-the-art facilities across Auckland Dr. Stephen Best, a co-founder, reminisces about the early days: “We started with the idea of a one-stop-shop for eye treatment, recognizing the need for specialised care accessible in one location.”

The clinic’s growth is a testament to its founding vision, evolving from a four-person team in a single building to over 100 staff members across several clinics.

The clinic’s growth is a testament to its founding vision, evolving from a four-person team in a single building to over 100 staff members across several clinics. Dr. David Pendergrast, another founding member, shares his pride in this evolution: “Watching our small beginning expand into multiple facilities has been incredibly fulfilling.”

 

One poignant story is that of Phil Kooperberg, who returned to the very grounds where he once lived, now transformed into Auckland Eye’s facilities, for his successful cataract surgery. “The process was remarkably smooth,” he notes, adding a touch of nostalgia about the clinic’s location, which used to be his family’s garage.

When Auckland Eye acquired the original property at 8 St Marks Road, it not only established the region’s first specialty eye clinic but also preserved the site’s historical essence, including native trees like Totara and Pohutukawa that have witnessed the area’s transformation.

At the Forefront of Technology

The clinic was the first in New Zealand to introduce Lasik surgery in 1997 and has continued to lead in technological advancements. According to Dr. Best, innovations such as ultrasound and OCT imaging have revolutionised patient treatment, particularly for conditions like macular degeneration, which can now be managed with regular injections—a feat that was unimaginable just a few decades ago.

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Dr. Pendergrast reflects on the technological leaps: “The advancements in laser surgery alone have been astonishing, offering safer, faster, and more precise treatments than ever before.”

Looking Ahead

With Auckland’s growth, Auckland Eye is not resting on its laurels. Chairman Mark Connelly and CEO Gordon Armstrong both emphasise the ongoing expansion plans, aiming to enhance patient experience further and maintain their status as New Zealand’s most trusted eye care provider.

As Auckland Eye celebrates this significant milestone, it looks forward to continuing its legacy of life-changing eye care. Here’s to another 30 years of innovation and excellence.