About Visique Optometrists

Est. 1952

Visique Optometrists have a long history of providing quality eye care and eyewear to the Bay of Plenty.

Locally owned and operated by business partners Ian Finch and Michael White, Visique Optometrists are a member of the Independent Optometry Group, a New Zealand co-operative network of independent optometrists committed to providing the very best in eye care for you and your family.

We look forward to looking after your eye care and eyewear needs.


Our History

1950 – John Wilson qualified as an optometrist.

1950-52 – John worked for a Hamilton practice, which included travel to Whakatane and Opotiki.


John Reynelle Wilson photo 1949 aged 21

John Reynelle Wilson photo 1949 aged 21

1952 – John Wilson went into partnership with Herbie Fletcher: Fletcher and Wilson Optometrists formed in Whakatane.

1957 – This partnership ended and John Wilson continued in business on his own.

1969 – John Wilson formed a partnership with Drs Dominick and Tate and Mr Bull, the dentist, and built Professional Chambers at 52 Boon St.

1975 – John Wilson went into partnership with Brian Stewart.

1989 – Paul Stockman was employed as an optometrist by the business.

1991 – Ian Finch was employed by the business.

1993 – A three-way partnership was formed by John Wilson, Brian Stewart and Ian Finch.

1996 – Business moved from Boon Street to its present location on the Strand.

1997 – Brian Stewart left, and Ian Finch and John Wilson stayed as partners.

1999 – Michael White joined Ian Finch in partnership, with John Wilson becoming an employee.

2001 – Founding member of Visique Optometrists.

2003 – John Wilson retired.

2005-2008 – Optometrists Ian Finch, Michael White and Paul Stockman qualify to prescribe therapeutic pharmaceutical agents.

2008 – Opened Visique Te Puke, adding to longstanding branches Whakatane, Kawerau and Opotiki.

2018 – Michael White and Paul Stockman achieve approval to manage and treat glaucoma eye disease.

2022 – Optometrist Meg Benjamin joins the team.

Our Professional Memberships

IOG (The Independent Optometry Group)

NZAO (New Zealand Association of Optometrists)

CCLS (Cornea and Contact Lens Society of New Zealand)

MDNZ (Macular Degeneration New Zealand)

GNZ (Glaucoma New Zealand)

Professional Certifications and Authorisations

Maritime Safety Authority examiner

ACC accredited provider

Honorary Teaching Fellow, University of Auckland

Glaucoma prescriber

Therapeutic optometrist

WINZ supplier

Enable provider

Health Benefits provider

Please see https://www.iogroup.co.nz/ for more information.

Optometrist | Visique Whakatane | Your Local Eyecare Team


Our Optometrists

Ian Finch


English trained but with a Kiwi heart- that’s Ian Finch in a nut shell! I have been an optometrist for 39years and I still love helping people with their eye problems. I am passionate about identifying people’s eye concerns and solving them in as simple way as possible. Over the years I have developed specialities in eye disease, in paediatrics ( children’s vision), in visual issues associated with Learning Difficulties and in brain injury rehabilitation. Optometry has changed so much over the last few decades – we now offer a far more holistic approach to eye care – that’s what makes it such fun!

In my personal life I have been married to Sue for 40 years. I have three adult children and 3 joyous grandchildren. I have a keen interest in sport having played and coached for many years. At present I have developed a passion for horse riding – unfortunately I do not have a natural aptitude but thankfully the horses are very forgiving! I am involved in many local charity organisations and have recently been elected to the BOPDHB where I hope to be able to support our community further.

Optometrist | Visique Whakatane | Your Local Eyecare Team

Michael White



Michael has over 30 years’ experience as an optometrist.  Initially working in Auckland  where he gained speciality contact lens experience, he moved to Whakatane with wife Denise to start a family and take over practice partnership from retiring optometrist stalwart John Wilson.

He maintains a passion for helping people with their eye care needs.  “I really enjoy the challenge of improving people’s quality of life by helping find solutions to eye and vision problems”.

Michael is interested in all areas of optometry although his special interests lie with contact lenses, ocular therapeutics, and glaucoma management.  He has completed several post-graduate courses over the years, most recently achieving an endorsement to treat glaucoma eye disease.

“I’ve actually been involved with optometry most of my life having first worn spectacles at age 5.  Now being a contact lenses wearer I feel I have a special affinity for my contact lens patients.”

In his spare time you might see him on the squash court or out on the road riding a classic motorbike.

Optometrist | Visique Whakatane | Your Local Eyecare Team

Paul Stockman


As a university classmate of his work colleague Michael White, Paul has also been working in optometry for the past 30 years, and after spending some of his early days doing locum work in Whakatane, can now also claim to have worked at this same firm for three decades.

Paul finds it a real pleasure to now be testing the children and even occasional grandchildren of some of those early patients from the late 1980s. Several long term trips living and working in optometry in Europe, Africa, and around New Zealand, punctuated by frequent return trips back to the BOP, have given Paul a good insight into the quality eye care offered here in the Bay of Plenty.

Paul has an interest in all aspects of optometry but especially enjoys working in a rural environment with the challenges this often brings in diagnosis and treatment. Extra study in glaucoma and pathology treatment and diagnosis add to that enjoyment and work satisfaction.

Three young children, sailing, and the wonderful outdoors here in The Bay fill his hours out of work.

Optometrist | Visique Whakatane | Your Local Eyecare Team

Meg Benjamin


Meg is new to the practice and the Bay of Plenty.

After completing her 5 years of study at the University of Auckland, she is excited to start her optometry career in Whakatane.

After doing placements at Visique Whakatane last year, she enjoyed the community so much she applied for a position with the practice.

“Visique Whakatane gives me an amazing environment to grow as an optometrist. I am supported by very experienced mentors and am able to face challenges I would not usually see in Auckland.”

During her degree, Meg has experienced all the different areas of optometry and the recent advancements being made in them.

Meg is also therapeutically qualified and enjoys being able to help patients in all aspects of eye care.

Outside of work, she enjoys travelling, reading, and painting. She is still exploring Whakatane and is very excited to become part of the community.

Visique whakatane

Get in touch


185 The Strand
Bay Of Plenty


07 308 8487



Te Puke

80 Jellicoe Street
Te Puke,
Bay Of Plenty

07 573 8999



32 King Street
Bay Of Plenty

07 315 7134




60 Onslow Street
Kawerau, Bay Of Plenty


07 323 9044