Our People

Pathlab boasts many dedicated and experienced professionals who are passionate about their field of work and chosen disciplines.

Michael Smith, Chairman Lawyer, LLB

Michael Smith, Lawyer

PAL Chairman of Board

Mr Smith assumed the role of Chairman of the PAL board in December 2017. He is currently chairman of the Bay of Plenty Regional council's Quayside Group of Companies as well as Chairman of Craigs Investment Partners, their Investment Management and their Investment Partners Superannuation arms. Michael is also a Director of Port of Tauranga Limited, Custodial Services Limited and First Mortgage Managers Limited.

Paul Laing, Director Chartered Accountant, DipPH, CA, BMS

Paul Laing, Chartered Accountant

Independent Director

Mr Laing is a recent addition to the PAL Board. He is currently with Redstag Timber Ltd as their Commercial Manager. Paul's background and experience include tenures with Kaingaroa Timberlands and Fletcher Challenge Forests where he managed the accounting and performance improvements respectively. Paul brings a high level of understanding of the health sector having held transition management, analyst and accounting roles for Pacific Health, The Treasury and South Thames Regional Health Authority.

Dr Richard Massey, Director MB ChB, FRCPA

Dr Richard Massey

Anatomical Pathologist, Director

Dr Massey, a qualified pathologist, has been Director of Pathology Associates for 12 years. Richard is employed on a 0.2FTE basis by Waikato DHB with the responsibility for the Pathology component of the Gynaecology Oncology Multidisciplinary meeting. Richard is also support for the regional lymphoma multidisciplinary meeting.

Dr Rakesh Raina, Director MD, MRCS (Ed), FRACP

Dr Rakesh Raina

Anatomic Pathologist

Dr Raina graduated from Russian State Medical University, Moscow and moved to England for post-graduate training. He completed his basic surgical training and was awarded membership of Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2006. Later that year he moved to new Zealand and did more clinical work in urology and General Surgery in Hamilton before pursuing his Anatomic Pathology training in Wellington. he was awarded fellowship of Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2017 and joined Pathology Associates Limited later that year. Rakesh has a broad interest in all areas of anatomic pathology with a special interest in urologic pathology.

Dr Nanise Cuthers, Director MBChB, FRCPA

Dr Nanise Cuthers

Anatomical Pathologist

Dr Cuthers is a University of Auckland graduate having gained her medical degree in 2006. She joined the PAL group with five years of experience in surgical pathology and cytopathology working as a vocational registrar in Waikato, four our which were within the public system. she began working for Pathlab Bay of Plenty at the beginning of 2016 as a senior registrar and successfully completed her training that year, gaining Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.

Dr Robert Marama Teika-Moeva Nicholas, Director MBCHB, FRNZCGP, Diploma Obstretrics

Dr Robert Nicholas


Dr Nicholas has been in full time General Practice (Tauranga) from 1987-2020. Robert now works part time for the Tauranga Māori Health Services (Te Manu Toroa), in which he was heavily involved in establishing. Robert is of Cook Island Māori , NZ Māori ( Tainui and Ngati Ranginui ) and NZ Pakeha descent and adds cultural diversity to the board.

Dr Ben Tallon MB ChB, FRACPderm

Dr Ben Tallon


Dr Tallon is an NZ and UK trained Dermatologist and Dermapathologist, with experience working in America and Europe. Ben works at Tauranga Hospital and Pathlab and is a tutor for the International Dermatology Masters Programme.

Dr Elaine Bekker MBChB (Pret), MMed (Anat Path)

Dr Elaine Bekker


Dr Bekker is a South African trained Histocytopathologist. She worked as a pathologist for the National Health Laboratory Services in Pretoria where she had been involved in diagnostic surgical pathology and cytopathology as well as in training of undergraduate and post graduate medical students. She has a special interest in gynaecologic and breast pathology. Dr Bekker has been a member of PAL since June 2011.

Dr Gustavo Faulhaber MD–PhD

Dr Gustavo Faulhaber

Clinical Haematologist

Dr Gustavo Faulhaber is a specialist haematologist. He had his training in Brazil, having a broad experience in both clinical and laboratory Haematology where he attained a Master and PhD degree in Medicine and worked as a university professor. Dr Faulhaber’s interests are in medical education and research in Haematology Pathology.

Dr Helen Keeman MBChB, FRCPA

Dr Helen Keeman


Dr Keeman graduated from the University of Otago Medical School in 2009. She worked as a house officer and resident medical officer at Christchurch Public Hospital and Grey Base Hospital before undertaking Anatomical Pathology training at Canterbury Health Laboratories, Christchurch. This included a year of Molecular Pathology training within the Genetics Department. In 2021 she became a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and began working for Pathlab Bay of Plenty. She enjoys general pathology, and has a special interest in Dermatopathology.

Dr Ian Beer BSc, MB ChB, FRCPA

Dr Ian Beer

General Pathologist

A generally trained pathologist with over 30 years’ experience in surgical pathology, FNA cytology, gynaecological cytology, laboratory haematology, clinical chemistry and coronial autopsies. Dr Beer became Clinical Director of Laboratory Services at Tauranga Hospital in 1990 and was closely involved with integration of laboratory services within the hospital and community, Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and in Hamilton since 2008. He was chair of the Association of Community Laboratories between 1999 and 2004, President of the New Zealand Society of Pathologists and vice chairman of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia New Zealand between 2007 and 2017, RCPANZ representative on the Quality Assurance, Scientific and Education Committee of the RCPA (2007 – 2015), Expert Medical Advisor to the Health and Disability Commission (2008-2010), and is currently Chairman of the Medical Testing Professional Advisory Committee of IANZ since 2007, and of the Accreditation Advisory Committee of IANZ since 2015.

Dr John Viggiano MD, Affiliate FRCPA

Dr John Viggiano

General Pathologist

Dr Viggiano is an American trained pathologist. He received his American Board Qualification in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology in September 1989. John then did a one-year postgraduate Fellowship as Clinical Instructor in Anatomic Pathology at the University of California, Los Angeles Medial Centre. It was during the Fellowship he received some specialty training from Dr Joseph Mirra in bone pathology. John immigrated to New Zealand in June 1990 and worked at the Waikato Hospital in Hamilton as a Specialist Anatomic Pathologist and Supervisor of the Pathology Training Programme. Later, he became involved in the pilot Breast Screening Aotearoa programme. Since April 1995, John has been working as a General Pathologist at Medlab Tauranga, as part of PAL Ltd. He is one of the two lead pathologists for Breast Screening Aotearoa, Bay of Plenty branch and considers breast pathology one of his subspecialties. His other interests are FNA Cytology, GI pathology and soft tissue pathology.

Dr Justin Copeland MBChB, FRCPA

Dr Justin Copeland

Anatomical Pathologist, Director

Dr Copeland graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1999. He moved to New Zealand in 2004, and after a year as a medical registrar in Auckland and a year doing laboratory research for the Auckland Hospital’s Renal department, he commenced Anatomical Pathology training at Canterbury Health Laboratories and completed his final year of training at Pathlab Bay of Plenty, and was awarded fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2010. Justin commenced work as an Anatomical Pathologist at Canterbury Health Laboratories in February 2011, but later that year returned to Pathlab Bay of Plenty.

Dr Marissa Muller MBChB (UL), MMed (Anat Path)(Pret)

Dr Marissa Muller


Dr Muller is a South African trained and qualified Histocytopathologist and affiliate member of the Royal College of Pathologist of Australasia. She worked as a Consultant Pathologist at the National Health Laboratory Services in Pretoria involved in the field of diagnostic surgical pathology, cytopathology and coronial autopsies, as well as in the training of undergraduate and postgraduate medical students enrolled at the University of Pretoria. In 2013, she received the Discovery Foundation award for her MMed research project titled “An endometrial histomorphometric study of CD56+ natural killer cells in women with unexplained infertility”. She has a special interest in gynae pathology, soft tissue pathology and head and neck pathology and maintains an interest in teaching and training. Dr Muller has been a member of Pathlab since April 2021.

Dr Mark Wickham MB ChB, M. Med Anat.path

Dr Mark Wickham


Dr Wickham is a South African trained Histopathololgist. He managed regional laboratory services including 6 satellite laboratories in the Eastern Transvaal area of South Africa, extending into Mozambique for a period of 13 years. He gained a wide experience of general pathology, tropical diseases and AIDS as well as provision of rural laboratory services. Mark joined the PAL group in 2004 where he is part of an active team working mainly in diagnostic surgical pathology and cytopathology as well as coronial work.

Dr Michael Addidle MBChB, MRCP, FRCP (Edin), FRCPath, DTM&H

Dr Michael Addidle

Clinical Microbiologist

Dr Addidle is a United Kingdom trained Microbiologist. A member of Infection Control Committee for Tauranga Hospital, as well as Braemar and Southern Cross Hospitals in Hamilton and Southern Cross Hospital in Rotorua - and a member of Tauranga hospital Influenza Pandemic Planning Group. Michael’s special interest is in helping the management of infections and is one of three clinical microbiologists for Whakatane, Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo hospitals, as well as working closely with the Infectious Diseases Physicians and Microbiologists at Waikato hospital.

Dr Nicholas Shaw MBBS, FRCPA

Dr Nicholas Shaw

Anatomical Pathologist

Australian-trained, Dr Shaw completed a basic medical degree in Brisbane in 2007 and completed anatomical pathology specialty training in Sydney 2015, then arrived in Tauranga, New Zealand in 2016. He maintains a broad interest in anatomical, forensic and cytopathology, quality and education.

Dr Rose Miller MBChB (Otago), FRCPA

Dr Rose Miller


Dr Rose Miller is a graduate of the University of Otago School of Medicine and trained as an Anatomic Pathologist at Wellington Hospital to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2005. She has a broad experience in general anatomical pathology and has worked in laboratories in New Zealand, Australia and Samoa. Dr Miller has a particular interest in dermatopathology and digital pathology. Since joining the PathLab Bay of Plenty team in October 2021 she has been trained in primary reporting of clinical cases in digital pathology.

Dr Sudha Patil MBBS, DCP, FRCPath, FRCPA

Dr Sudha Patil

Anatomical Pathologist

Dr Patil graduated from Karnataka University and after finishing her Diploma in Clinical Pathology in India, she moved to England to pursue her career in Histopathology. She trained at prestigious University hospitals of Leicester & Nottingham and Lincoln District hospital. She worked as a Consultant Histocytopathologist in the UK in public and private sectors briefly, before moving to Pathlab-Waikato NZ in 2010. Sudha has a broad and varied experience in all aspects of histopathology, autopsy and cytopathology. Her special interests include Genitourinary and GI pathology. She is a member of the International Academy of Pathology.

Dr Tim Sutton BSc, MB ChB, FRCPA

Dr Tim Sutton

General Pathologist

Dr Sutton is a New Zealand trained General Pathologist. He completed training and worked at Barnes Hospital (St Louis) and Greenlane Hospital before moving to Tauranga Hospital and Medlab Bay of Plenty in 1992. He has an interest in Urological Pathology, particularly of the prostate and is one of the two lead pathologists for the Breast screening programme in the Bay of Plenty. Tim worked extensively with the McLeod whanau on the pathology side of the study on familial gastric cancer and is responsible for the training of pathology registrars at PAL. Tim has significant experience in clinical pathology, particularly clinical chemistry and continues to support advancing technologies and their role in the modern laboratory.

Dr Tony Au Jong FRCPA DCH

Dr Tony Au Jong

Anatomical Pathologist

Dr Au Jong graduated from AtmaJaya Medical University, Jakarta, Indonesia. He initially worked in General Paediatrics and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in United Kingdom and in New Zealand. After completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Child Health/ Paediatrics training (Otago University) in 2009, he pursued the Anatomic Pathology training in Wellington, New Zealand. Tony has a broad interest in all areas of anatomic pathology with a special interest in breast pathology.

Dr Vani Sathyendran MBBS, FRCPA

Dr Vani Sathyendran

Clinical Microbiologist

Dr Sathyendran graduated from University of Colombo Sri Lanka, in 2000. She immigrated to New Zealand in 2001 and worked as a resident medical officer in hospitals within the Auckland region including a year in Rehabilitation Medicine, prior to starting her specialist training in Clinical Microbiology. She joined Pathlab Bay of Plenty in April 2013, after completing her specialist training in Auckland City Hospital. Vani is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and a member of the Australian Society for Antimicrobials and Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases. Vani is also a member of the Infection Control Committee at Rotorua Hospital and provides advice on Infection control related issues to a number of private hospitals in the Waikato and Lakes region. Her special interests include nosocomial infections and medical education.

Dr Vivian Black MBBCh (SA), MSc (London), FCPath (Colleges SA), DTM&H (London), HIV Man Dip (SA)

Dr Vivian Black

Clinical Microbiologist

Dr Black is a Clinical Microbiologist who trained in South Africa. She recently joined Pathlab as a Clinical Microbiologist. Vivian is one of three Clinical Microbiologists for Whakatane, Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo hospitals where she supports Microbiology and antimicrobial Stewardship platforms. Vivian is happy to provide advise on antimicrobial assistance where required.

Dianne McQueen DMLS, Cert. Personnel Management

Dianne McQueen

Chief Executive Officer

Dianne’s role is to provide leadership, to plan, organise and provide control through systems and procedures. To provide liaison between the Directors and staff to assist in determining overall company policy. Originally an experienced scientist with Biochemistry qualifications, Dianne moved into management and strategic roles in the early 1990s. She has ten years experience running hospital, community and multi-site laboratories and has an excellent understanding of the pressures this sector faces.

Brian Millen BSc (Hons), PGCertLdMng

Brian Millen

General Manager

Brian is a results-oriented General Manager with a wealth of experience in the health sector and a proven track record of driving sustainable change. His leadership is characterised by the cultivation of robust team and stakeholder relationships, and his unwavering commitment to positive outcomes is evident in his pursuit of equity and service excellence. Prior to Pathlab, Brian was the General Manager for Specialist Medical Services and Health of Older People at Waitemata DHB. His professional journey includes diverse operational management positions, showcasing his extensive and multifaceted expertise.

Claudio Turilli DMLS, Dip. Bus. Management

Claudio Turilli

Operations Manager Pathlab Waikato

Claudio started work for the National Health Laboratory Services in Durban, South Africa. He qualified as a Technologist (Biochemistry) in June 1974 and progressed through to Principal Medical Technologist by June 1978. Between 1975 and 1979 Claudio served as the Local Examiner for the national examinations (Biochemistry) and qualified in Microbiology 1986. In 1992 Claudio obtained a certificate in Business Management and immigrated to NZ in 1994 to join Pathlab Waikato as Customer Services and Collections Manager and in November 2004 took up the role of Operations Manager for the Waikato laboratory.

Jo Hartigan DMLS

Jo Hartigan

Operations Manager, Pathlab Rotorua

Jo Hartigan commenced work for Pathlab Bay of Plenty (then Medlab Bay of Plenty) in 1990 as Technician in the Microbiology Department. In 1995 she sat her Microbiology exam to complete her studies and qualified as a Scientist. She became the 2 IC of Microbiology in 1999 until leaving in 2005 to work in Brisbane for in a senior role for a large private laboratory. In 2008 Jo returned to NZ and began working in Pathlab Waikato as a senior scientist in Microbiology. She was appointed 2IC in the Microbiology department in May 2008 and continued in this role until she was appointed Operations Manager for Laboratory Services Rotorua in March 2010.