Like all businesses forced to close the doors during the Covid-19 lockdown, the team at SeeHear in Levin couldn't wait to get back to work again.

SeeHear co-owner Dave O'Brien said all the staff and management at the audiology and optometry hub were happy just to be back at the office again once the Covid-19 restrictions were eased.

"It's hard when you have to shut the doors and turn the lights off, but we have been well supported by the community now we are up and running again," he said.

See Hear celebrated its ninth birthday during the lockdown period. O'Brien and optometrist Mike Watkins opened SeeHear in their Oxford St base in 2011, after both working in Wellington for many years.

The team at SeeHear...Dave O'Brien, Stacy Dray, Jo Manson and Mike Watkins.
The team at SeeHear...Dave O'Brien, Stacy Dray, Jo Manson and Mike Watkins.

When the business they were involved in sold, they spied an opportunity to start their own practice and chose Levin as the place to do it.

So the O'Brien family moved to Levin and the Watkins family settled in Ōtaki.

"We both thought the Horowhenua would be a great place to move to and a great community to become part of," O'Brien said.

On planning their business they saw an opportunity to include audiology services. A couple of meetings later and they had linked up with Janet Houghton and her team from Courtenay Hearing to provide this.

So the company name of SeeHear was born. More recently, SeeHear has added the services of an ear health Nurse in Ruth Cooley, who runs a clinic on Saturdays.

"It made good sense to take on a nurse that specialised in ear health. We tend to be booked up with a lot of wax removal at the moment," he said.

"From a service perspective we are covering a few bases. There is a nice symmetry there with eyes and ears."

O'Brien said it was important to be proactive when dealing with ear and eye health and he strongly advocated regular checks.


"If there is anything we can't provide we will certainly help steer you in the right direction."

SeeHear stocks a huge range of glasses and frames - more than 1000 pairs - to cater for all tastes and budgets. They also stock a great selection of sunglasses, including popular brands such as adidas, Oakley and Ray Ban.

O'Brien has also become heavily involved in the sporting community as chief executive of Horowhenua-Kāpiti Cricket Association.