Official Physiotherapy provider to the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls and all TRFU representative teams


Andrew Larkin

Director / Physiotherapist


  • Andrew was a competitive road & track cyclist to an international level until an injury limited his cycling.
  • After a 4 year OE in the UK, Andrew returned to NZ in 1995 to start his university study


  • Bachelor in Health Science, (Physiotherapy), 2000,
  • Masters in Health Practice, (MSK Physiotherapy), Hons, 2007

Work Experience:

  • After graduating from AUT Andrew took up a rotation Physiotherapist role at Taranaki Base Hospital from 2001-2002.
  • From 2002 to 2005 Andrew worked in London primarily in private hospitals.
  • His sports Physiotherapy background is varied with experience with the Taranaki Stormers Basketball team from 2001-2002, Middlesex Cricket Club and MCC 2003-2005.  TRFU Academy, TRFU 7’s, TRFU Development and TRFU ITM Cup Physiotherapist 2006-present
  • He currently manages PHYSIOTHERAPY @ CAREfirst where he treats a variety of acute and musculoskeletal and sports injuries, along with some complex chronic pain conditions. Andrew trained in acupuncture in the UK and in New Zealand.
  • Director and Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist.


  • Mt Biking
  • Gym
  • Spending time with his family

Ashleigh Day


Ash grew up in Timaru and was always keen on sports competing in soccer, rowing, cycling and mountain biking throughout high school. Her passion for sport led her to Dunedin where she started her physiotherapy career. Ash has spent the last few years overseas and is excited to be back in NZ close to family and back to the great outdoors.

  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, 2015

Work Experience:

  • After graduating, Ash worked in Timaru, in private practice, residential care, rural and private hospital care.
  • Ash then spent 2 years as a locum in the UK in a range of hospitals and outpatient clinics.
  • She’s spent the last year working in private practice and sports physiotherapy in Melbourne.


  • Running and Mountain biking
  • Playing with my puppy
  • Travelling and photography

Emma Bridgehouse



Emma grew up in Manchester where she met her husband and in 2006 they immigrated to New Zealand.


  • BSc (Hons) Physiology.
  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
  • Certificate in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy

Work Experience:

  • Oldham Hospital in UK from 2004-2006 as a rotational Physiotherapist.
  • Emma worked at Taranaki Base Hospital initially as a rotational Physiotherapist for the first year, then was based in the outpatients department between Hawera and Taranaki Base Hospitals.
  • Emma has worked at PHYSIOTHERAPY @ CAREfirst since 2009.
  • Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist.


  • Spending time with her family
  • Camping and being in the outdoors

Nathan Coombes


Nathan is born and raised on a dairy farm in coastal Taranaki and attended Francis Douglas Memorial College. During his youth he was a keen athlete competing in a number of individual sports. This paired with his strong interest in health and wellbeing led to him studying
Physiotherapy at Auckland University of Technology. While studying Nathan continued to
compete in the sports of triathlon, duathlon and athletics and attended multiple world
championship events. Nathan enjoys helping athletes getting back on track and injury free and helping others return to their active lifestyles.

  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy (2011)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Acupuncture (2012)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (2015)
  • Masters of Health Practice (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, 2015)

Work Experience
Nathan has had 8 years’ experience working in private practice and sports Physiotherapy. He worked for four years in Auckland while he completed his post graduate studies prior to moving to Dunedin for one year to explore the South Island. Nathan has been working in New Plymouth for three years and joined CareFirst Physiotherapy in 2019. He has worked extensively with
Rugby, swimming and athletics.

  • Marathons, athletics and tramping.
  • Rugby and Cricket

Nick Arnold


Raised in New Plymouth, Nick is a former Francis Douglas Memorial College student who has a keen interest in sport and health. After leaving school Nick studied Physiotherapy at Auckland University of Technology, graduating in 2015. Nick went straight into working in private practice following university, and has just returned to New Plymouth after two and a half years working in the UK and Hawkes Bay.


  • Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy), 2015
  • Nick has undertaken further training in Dry Needling

Work Experience

  • 4 years working in private practice and sports physiotherapy
  • Senior Squad/Academy Physiotherapist Northamptonshire County Cricket Club
  • Physiotherapist Central District Stags Cricket 2019-2020
  • Travelling Physiotherapist for Denstone College (UK) 1st XV on tour to Hong Kong and Japan


  • Rugby, cricket, surf life saving, running, golf
  • Travelling

Leah Barnfield


Leah is a proud South Islander, being born and raised in the deep South. As a keen sportswoman, she has competed and played a variety sports up to representative level. More recently she has taken up adventure racing, teaming up with Team MACPAC to compete at Godzone – a multiday adventure race based in NZ. Her passion for sport and health lead her to pursue a career in physiotherapy.

B PHTY (2007)

Work Experience
After graduating from Otago University, Leah moved to Taranaki to work initially as a rotational physiotherapist at Taranaki Base Hospital before moving into the outpatient department. She has worked in private practice and been involved in side-line team management for the past five years.

Adventure/ the outdoors
Water sports/Biking/Running/Rugby

Toni Ramage

Practice Manager

Toni joined Physiotherapy@CAREfirst in the middle of 2019, after moving away from Administration in a business owned with her husband. Toni has worked as a Practice Manager prior to having her two children.


  • Biking, swimming, spending time with family, movies, travelling

Marian Smith



Marion commenced work at PHYSIOTHERAPY @ CAREfirst in 2010 as a part time receptionist and has continued in this role.

She previously participated in a range of sports, and is now interested in almost all sports and closely follows her four adult children (and now grandchildren) in their chosen fields.

Marion enjoys meeting and assisting patients.

Sarah Birchler


Sarah joined Physiotherapy@CAREfirst at the start of 2020 in a part-time capacity after working in a variety of administration and support roles in other New Plymouth organisations.

Sarah loves the opportunity she has to meet patients and support the Physiotherapy team.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with friends, baking, collecting old books, reading and knitting animal soft toys.