Making a difference in people's lives

Our Team of Qualified Physiotherapists and Acupuncturists

Teresa Te Tamaki
Director / Physiotherapist

MHPrac (Musculo), PGDip Maori Health, BHSc (Phys)

Born and bred in Rotorua, I moved up to Auckland to study. After completing my undergraduate degree at AUT in 2004, I remained in Auckland practising as a physiotherapist for 2 years before making the move to Hamilton – the city of the future in 2007. I have been working at Lifestyle Physio since and took over the clinic in September 2015.

For the past 10 plus years I have spent the majority of my weekends and most of my time outside of work either training or running around a rugby field. I have represented New Zealand in both 15s and 7s, and feel this has given me an edge in understanding athletes and injuries, from a players’ perspective. Playing rugby has allowed me to travel the world. I am excited to be able to get to work on building the clinic and providing our patients with the best treatment and lead the way in physiotherapy in the Waikato.

Ema Pene

BHsc (Phys)

Kia Ora! Born in Whanganui but bred in Rotorua/Te Arawa I graduated from AUT in 2009 and worked in Auckland for a few years before moving down to Hamilton in 2013. I worked at Lifestyle Physiotherapy working with the Waikato Women’s Rugby Team and also the NZ Black Ferns Rugby Team. I relocated back to Auckland in 2015 for the Black Ferns role and was also involved in the Blues Development and U20’s programs. The past 2 years I have been involved with the Waikato Mitre10 Rugby Team and I am currently working with the NZ All Black Sevens Development team which has brought me back to the Waikato and to Lifestyle Physiotherapy. I take a practical evidence based approach to diagnosing and managing people’s injuries/conditions and am passionate about delivering the best treatment I can. I also play basketball and really want to learn how to surf! I’m also a Harry Potter geek and love to travel.

Ripeka Noe

BHSc (Phys)


Hi I’m Pep (Ripeka) and I’m very excited to be back at work after 18 months maternity leave. I am married with three young children 6, 4 and 1. I have worked at Lifestyle Physiotherapy since its inception 7 years ago. I have enjoyed the many different experiences and interactions with people from all different walks of life.

I take a functional approach to rehabilitation and enjoy solving somewhat difficult and complex injuries. I like to take a whole view of the person and associated mechanics to piece together any underlying issues that may need to be addressed to improve their performance.

I have a special interest in sports physiotherapy, in particular, Crossfit. I am travelling at the end of May to the Crossfit Games Pacific Regional Competition as Physiotherapist for some of the New Zealand Individual Athletes.

Catherine Tsai


My name is Catherine and I was born in Taipei, Taiwan. I moved to New Zealand with my family when I was 7 years old and lived mostly in Dunedin. Being from a different country has allowed me to grow up in a bicultural environment and be fluent in both Mandarin and English.

I graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2013. Following that I remained and worked in a private practice in Dunedin for a year and half before moving up to Hamilton in May 2015 to join the Lifestyle Physiotherapy crew.

In my spare time I enjoy travelling around, going on different walking tracks and discovering the scenic spots around Hamilton. I also enjoy playing a casual game of table tennis, tennis or just sitting back to relax and experience the joy of reading.

Rebecca Brown


Originally from Auckland, I moved to the Waikato at the end of 2013 after graduating from Otago University. For the last 5 years I have worked in a private practice in Cambridge, and have been heavily involved in local and regional sports teams- this has included Waikato age grade and senior development rugby, WAIBOP women’s football and most recently I have been to Japan and Brunei traveling with women’s sevens teams for international tournaments.

I am very keen sportsperson myself, having played nationally for women’s football and have been involved in many other sports including squash, tennis, netball and running. I feel that this gives me an advantage to understanding injuries from a sportspersons perspective and helps me to get you back to where you need to be. I have experience treating a wide variety of clients and injuries and I use a very hands on approach to treatment. This includes manual therapy and dry needling, but I am also passionate about exercise prescription and gym rehabiliation.

When I am not working, you will find me in the outdoors, playing sport or relaxing at the beach! I look forward to meeting you all and helping on your journey to recovery.

Karaitiana Ripaki-Tamatea

BHsc (Phys)

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Kia Ora I’m Karaitiana and I am of Waikato, Tuhoe, and Rongowhakaata Te Aitanga-aa-Maahaki descent. Raised here in Hamilton, I made the move to Auckland to complete my Undergraduate studies. After graduating from AUT in 2014, I remained in Auckland for 2 years working as a physiotherapist before making the move back home. I am a fluent speaker in Te Reo Maaori with it being my first language. I attended Kura Kaupapa and Wharekura. I have competed in Basketball and Waka ama on a National and International level, which sparked my interest for sports injuries and rehabilitation. I was fortunate to work with Otahuhu U21s and Point Chevalier Reserve grade in rugby league. Apart from the work I do here at Lifestyle Physiotherapy, I work in the Outpatient Department at Waikato Hospital. This includes working with those with post-operative, neurological and chronic related conditions. It is good to be back home and I am excited to be apart of this team, I look forward to meeting you all.

Kyle Turvey

BHsc (Phys)


My name is Kyle and I was born and raised in Hamilton but spent many years based in Auckland both at boarding school and then as a student. I studied Physiotherapy at AUT and in my final year was assigned the Waikato region for my final year of placements and so moved back home for good.

Since graduating as a physiotherapist I have worked with a wide range of individuals from competitive athletes such as the Waikato under 16s, Harpequins under 17s, Chiefs Under 20s and Waikato womens rugby teams as well as many others in clinic to factory workers and farmers. I have a keen interest in sports and have played almost everything under the sun including tennis, rugby, rugby league, soccer, softball, basketball, cricket and in more recent years I have trained and competed in Crossfit with a special interest in the Olympic weightlifting that came with that. This interest has grown and I am now a qualified weightlifting coach.

I am also a keen outdoorsman and love getting out of town into the bush or on the water when I get the chance. My varied background and interests help me to understand my patients needs and form a strong clinical alliance that when combined with the scientific evidence provides top quality Physiotherapy experience.

Jing Zhang

Bachelors Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine


您好!My name is Jing Zhang. I was born and raised in Shanxi Province, China. I studied for 5 years to complete a Bachelors degree in Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Tui-Na of Chinese Medicine graduating in 2014. I moved to New Zealand shortly after and started working at Lifestyle Physiotherapy in November that year.

I am a registered NZRA member and ACC Provider specialising in Acupuncture, Cupping, Moxibustion, Scrapping and Tui-Na. Whether you are trying to improve your health, manage pain, improve women health problems, or looking to strengthen immunity – I can help you meet your goals with the use of Acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese techniques.

In my spare time, I like to read and do Acrylic Painting. I also love Geography! I really want to make the most of this beautiful country by travelling and seeing more of what New Zealand has to offer.

Sarah Usmar
Receptionist & Float Room Manager

Hi I’m Sarah and I am the new receptionist and Float room manager at the Saint Andrews clinic. I have come from an office job working as an account’s administrator over in Cambridge but prior to that I spent years working in a children’s clothing boutique here in Hamilton.

In my spare time I love heading to the beach, baking, catching up with friends and have recently started Muai Thai kickboxing classes.  I am the family cheerleader so most weekends you will find me on the sidelines supporting my partners rugby or my daughter’s netball and swimming.

I look forward to meeting you all.

Gail Wharakura

My name is Gail Wharakura, I am the Receptionist at our Ngaruawahia Clinic and have worked there since 2014. My work experience has included being the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Hamilton and then onto the Executive Officer at Ngaruawahia High School for 19 years.

I was born and bred in the Far North and have lived in Ngaruawahia for over 40 years now, therefore considered one of the locals. I have three sons who have all made exciting lives for themselves overseas along with my six (and counting) grandchildren.

I enjoy working at Lifestyle Physiotherapy, getting re-acquainted with the local folk and meeting more new faces every day. The team at Lifestyle Physio are very friendly, professional and I enjoy working with them helping create a welcoming environment.