Meet the visionaries. -Dr Peter Hadden

Meet the visionaries. -Dr Peter Hadden

This week we are excited to introduce one of our highly regarded Ophthalmologists, Dr Peter Hadden. Dr Hadden is one of Eye Institute’s long-standing visionaries a specialises in Retinal and Cataract solutions.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Probably my favourite thing to do is going on tramps and walks. Last week we went to Taranaki.

I don’t do it as often as I would like, but when I’m out there it’s a lot of fun.


We’ve heard that you enjoy researching, are you working on any projects at the moment?

I’m currently working on a PhD study of the anatomy and physiology of the Penguin Vision System.

So currently I’ve been examining penguin eyes to figure out how they work, how they see and what they see. How penguins see is important to understand because this will help us to answer further questions. For example, how do they get caught in nets? Can they see them? How do they catch fish and how does it affect them catching fish. So to understand how they see is the foundation for ensuring their long term survival.

Tell us something about you that most people don’t know?

At the moment my three boys enjoy painting miniature soldier figures, so I’ve been enjoying helping them with that. My girls are less excited by this.

I also have written a book called ‘North New Zealand,’ with a lot of help from the experts.  It was originally intended to be a collection of interesting excerpts for my kids but evolved into a comprehensive overview of the natural history of the upper North Island. This book is intended to ‘bridge the gap’ between scientific journals and books written for public consumption. I wanted it to keep a strong emphasis on science, but without all the scientific jargon, so that everyone could read it. ‘North New Zealand’ was written to provide an accessible introduction to natural history, as well as a detailed account of the geology, climate, flora and fauna of northern New Zealand.


In fact, writing it and getting feedback from experts taught me a lot about natural history.


How are you involved in giving back to the community?

In my spare time, I also work at the public hospital, it’s really interesting and I get a lot out of it.

I also go to Samoa once a year and Fiji twice every year, overseeing complex retina cases and help to advance the knowledge of ophthalmologists over there.

I’m also an examiner for RANZCO which means I contribute to the training and knowledge of NZ and Australian Ophthalmologists. I have also recently started serving on the NZ Health Practitioners’ Disciplinary Tribunal, which has been a real education.  

Keep an eye on our Facebook page next week to meet another Eye Institute visionary.