Situated in the heart of Manurewa, Frith and Laird was established by optometrists Mike Frith, Knox Laird and Heather Laird. But our history dates further back as the practice initially started off as the Manurewa branch of George Read & Sons (founded in the early 1900’s), with the main branch in the city.
Mike’s father, Reg Frith FBOA, was an optician at the bottom of Queen Street and Mike decided to followed in his father’s footsteps and waited for the optometry course to begin at The University of Auckland in 1965. He and Knox Laird were part of the first intake of students under the late Professor Ted Grosvenor who had come from the USA. Mike was employed at George Read on Karangahape Road. He started doing two afternoons a week at Manurewa and as this built up, he spent more time there and took over the responsibility and ownership of the practice.
During his time as an optometrist, Mike developed a fondness in low vision and shared his time in private practice and started the low vision clinic within the eye clinic at the Greenlane Clinical Centre. Mike has spent time volunteering overseas in the Pacific Islands and Nepal and is a current trustee of Macula Degeneration NZ.
Knox became the first optometrist in New Zealand to gain his PhD and he also shared his time in private practice and also lectured optometry students at the University of Auckland. A few years later Knox and Heather Laird joined the practice as associates in August 1979.
Heather also developed a special interest in low vision and helping her patients reach their goals. Heather was also a former treasurer of the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Association of Optometrists (NZAO).
In 2000, Frith and Laird Optometrists became a member of the Visique group; a New Zealand network of independent optometry practices who are committed in providing excellent eye care and quality eyewear to all kiwis.