Best-Rated Optometrists

Compare optometrists in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. The Independent Optometry Group, Bailey Nelson, Specsavers and OPSM were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Accessibility of Store, After Sale Service, Customer Service, Range of Products, Service and Advice and Value for Money.

See our Ratings Methodology.


Most Satisfied Customers | The Independent Optometry Group

For the sixth year in a row, The Independent Optometry Group is the clear winner of Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers | Optometry Award.

How we rate optometrists

Our review compares optometrists on customer satisfaction, so you can discover what other Kiwis think about our compared optometrists before you make your own optometry choice. Think of it like asking hundreds of your closest friends and family members which optometrists they think deliver the best value and service!

Canstar Blue surveyed 1501 Kiwis who had used a national chain of optometry stores within the past three years for their feedback on the optometrist they used.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their optometrist brands from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with an optometrist brand as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria
  • Accessibility of Store: the optometry store is well designed, allowing for easy browsing, and all frames and glasses are well presented
  • After Sale Service: the follow-up service from the optometrist is attentive and thorough
  • Customer Service: the optometrist’s staff provide great customer service
  • Range of Products: the optometrist stocks a wide choice of frames and lens options
  • Service and Advice: the optometrist offers a wide range of services and high levels of ophthalmic advice
  • Value for Money: overall, the level of service and product quality on offer provides a high level of value

The winning optometry store brand is the one that receives the highest Overall Satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall Satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall Satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall Satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  • Independent Optometry Group
  • Bailey Nelson
  • Specsavers
  • OPSM

Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.

Best optometrists in New Zealand

  1. Independent Optometry Group
  2. Bailey Nelson
  3. Specsavers
  4. OPSM

The Independent Optometry Group

Ratings Results

Yet again, The Independent Optometry Group is the winner of Canstar Blue’s Optometry Award. This is the sixth year in a row that The Independent Optometry Group has won our top award, having previously taken home our award from 2018-2021 under the brand name Visique.

This year, to well and truly cement its position as the country’s No.1 rated optometry chain, The Independent Optometry Group earns a perfect set of 5-Star ratings from its customers.

It’s the only optometrist to earn a 5-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction, a rating it replicates across all our award categories, from Customer Service to Value for Money.

Congratulations to The Independent Optometry Group for such an outstanding result.

Editor’s Notes

The Independent Optometry Group is a 100% Kiwi member-owned cooperative of 74 independent optometry practices, spanning all parts of the country. As a result, Independent Optometry Group is able to deliver its customers the local knowledge and bespoke service of an independent optometrist, plus all the benefits of a large-scale cooperative.

Bailey Nelson

Ratings Results

For the second year in a row, Bailey Nelson places second in our ratings, earning 4 Stars for Overall Satisfaction from its customers. It earns further 4-Star ratings for Value for Money, Customer Service and After Sale Service.

In this year’s award, Bailey Nelson is the only optometry store to earn 3 Stars for Range of Products. However, this is understandable, as Bailey Nelson focuses on retailing its own range of stylish frames, rather than those of other glasses brands.

Editor’s Notes

Bailey Nelson was founded in Sydney in 2012 and has grown into a global brand with stores in London, Canada and here in NZ, where it operates ten stores across the country: six in Auckland, one each in Tauranga and Wellington, plus two in the South Island, both in Christchurch. Bailey Nelson has a focus on delivering great service and fashionable eyewear products at affordable prices.

optometry award SpecSavers logo


Specsavers is a brand that has a long association with great value eyewear, which is reflected in the ratings it earns from its many satisfied customers. In this year’s award ratings, it earns a clean sweep of great 4-Star scores across every ratings category, including for Overall Satisfaction.

Editor’s Notes

Founded in the UK, Specsavers is a massive force in the optometry space that boasts a worldwide network. In NZ, there are over 55 independently owned Specsavers franchises, many of which also offer audiology, providing excellent advice and service.

Specsavers offers its customers peace of mind with a two-year quality guarantee on all its frames, as well as a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

optometry award OPSM logo


Of the four optometry brands in our awards ratings, OPSM places last, with a 3-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction from its customers. While three stars isn’t a top rating, it’s by no means a measure of dissatisfaction, and instead shows OPSM’s customers are happy with the value and service they’ve received. OPSM earns its highest rating for Range of Products, for which it earns 4 Stars.

Editor’s Notes

OPSM has travelled far in its 80-plus years. From a single store in Sydney, it now boasts nearly 400 stores across Australia and New Zealand. OPSM has an extensive network of stores, with several locations in most New Zealand cities. OPSM also boasts an excellent contact lens subscription service that provides you with regular refills, delivered to your door, with a 25% discount off the retail price.

Other optometry brands

Not all optometry brands in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are more brands to check out before making a purchase decision.

  • Matthews
  • Oscar Wylee
  • Paterson Burn


Editor’s Notes

Founded in 1957, Matthews Eyecare is a third-generation family owned New Zealand business with 20 practices spread across the North and South Islands. Matthews Eyecare prides itself on its professional expertise and its commitment to personalised service. In addition to general eye and vision care, many Matthews Eyecare professionals offer speciality eyecare services.

Oscar Wylee

Editor’s Notes

Oscar Wylee is an Australian brand that was founded in 2012 and opened its first stores here in 2019. Rather than retail big, international frame brands, it focuses on selling its own range of affordable, fashionable frames. In the North Island, Oscar Wylee has six stores across Auckland, and one each in Palmerston North, central Wellington and Lower Hutt. In the South Island, it has one location in Christchurch.

Paterson Burn

Editor’s Notes

Paterson Burn is one of the largest independent optometry groups in the country and boasts a history stretching back over 100 years. Based across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, Paterson Burn is committed to providing the highest level of care to its clients. While its optometrists deliver clear vision and good eye health, its optical assistants and dispensing opticians will have you seeing and looking great.

Choosing the Right Optometrist

Like other healthcare providers, optometrists provide an essential service. And if you wear glasses, regular optometrist appointments are a must to ensure your vision remains 20/20.

As with all private healthcare, cost is a big factor, and a quarter (25%) of those in our awards survey say that Value for Money is their biggest concern when rating their choice of optometrist.

However, professional service and advice, that offered only by a professional optometrist, is also an important factor for optometry consumers: 24% of the 1501 New Zealanders in this year’s survey cite professional service and advice as the most important factor when it comes to rating great satisfaction with their choice of optometrist.

This ranks equally with general Customer Service, which is also rated the most important consideration by 24% of respondents. This is the type of regular customer service you’d expect from any retail outlet: prompt, courteous service from attentive staff.

If you’re wondering what’s important when choosing the right optometrist for your needs, here’s the full rundown of what the consumers in our survey say are the main points they consider when rating their optometry choices.

  • Value for Money: 25%
  • Service and Advice: 24%
  • Customer Service: 24%
  • After Sale Service: 12%
  • Accessibility of Store: 5%
  • Range of Products: 10%

Choosing Glasses for Your Face Shape

Glasses for a square-shaped face

The name says it all: a square face is essentially angular. This includes strong features and a prominent jawline. If you’ve a square-shaped face, you should appreciate your sought-after model-like jaw line. However, glasses can often make features look too prominent, so the key is to soften harsh features. For angular features, glasses with strong curves and neutral colours work well, so cat-eye, round or oval frames may be your best options! Also, to make the face look slimmer, a wider frame could be a good choice.

Glasses for a heart-shaped face

If you’ve a broad forehead, high cheekbones and a narrow, pointed chin, then your face shape is categorised as heart-shaped. Because heart-shaped faces tend to have a wide forehead, it’s best to opt for glasses that have a wider frame than your forehead, so not to emphasise it. Of course, there’s certainly nothing wrong with a wide forehead, but glasses can distort facial features and, in this instance, those features can look out of proportion. Light coloured glasses can help soften your features, too.

Glasses for a round face

If you’ve a round face, you’ll have a rounded chin with equally proportioned features, along with a wide forehead and full cheeks. The aim here is to wear strongly detailed glasses to create contrast and make features appear sharper. You may want to opt for coloured, detailed or patterned glasses, as they’ll make your face look longer and thinner. The shape of the glasses will also create the same effect; the key is to choose a frame that’s wider, rather than taller.

Also consider the style of bridge, as it can make a big difference to your overall appearance. When choosing glasses for a round face, aim for a thin or clear bridge to make your eyes seem wider apart.

Glasses for an oval face

An oval shaped face is very balanced in terms of proportional features, except your chin is narrower than your forehead and you’re blessed with high cheekbones! You’ll know if you have an oval-shaped face because everything is very balanced. With this comes ease in choosing glasses. But don’t opt for over-sized glasses that are too big, as you’ll distract from this balance. Instead, pick frames only a tad bigger! Detail usually pairs well with high cheek bones.

About the editor of this page

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

Key statistics

Have annual eye tests: 38%

Delay visits to the optometrists due to cost: 38%

Prefer cheaper outlets to boutique optometrists: 34%

Suffer eye strain through overuse of technology: 25%

Have considered laser eye surgery: 22%


Glasses or contacts




Contact lenses


Combination of both



Yearly average spend




Contact lenses



Canstar Blue surveyed 5108 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from respondents who had used a national chain of optometry stores within the past three years. In this case, 1501 New Zealanders. Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criterion.

The past winners from Canstar Blue’s Optometry ratings:

  • 2023: The Independent Optometry Group
  • 2022: The Independent Optometry Group
  • 2021: Visque
  • 2020: Visque
  • 2019: Visque
  • 2018: Visque

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