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Phil Rasmussen 
Managing Director

Phil_3.jpgPhil is an experienced Medical Herbalist with a busy clinic in Auckland where he has practiced since 1995. Before pursuing herbal medicine he worked for more than ten years as a pharmacist, and undertook research on antidepressant drugs and serotonin for a Masters degree in Pharmacology. He is a regular lecturer at several naturopathic and herbal colleges, presented at conferences in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, and written extensively on herbal subjects for both practitioner and consumer publications, for many years. Phil is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy at the University of Auckland, and was Deputy Chair of the Interim Expert Advisory Committee on Complementary & Alternative Medicines (IEACCAM), established by the Australian and New Zealand governments between 2006 and 2008.

Phil founded Phytomed Medicinal Herbs Ltd in 1998 to produce high quality, NZ-made herbal medicines for health practitioners, and in 2000 the Kiwiherb brand was launched as the retail offering of Phytomed Medicinal Herbs. As well as providing leadership & governance in the business, Phil is passionate about research and heads the New Product Development team, creating premium formulations based on traditional evidence validated by good science. 

Kevin E Lin
Production Operations Manager

Kevin_1.jpgKevin graduated in 1982 from School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Medical University (Pharmacy College of Fudan University) and was then employed as a Pharmaceutical Engineer at Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Industrial Research Institute. His work in the Institute focused on pharmaceutical technology and preparation research, and he was appointed as the General Manager of the Institute pharmaceutical manufactory for pretesting and production of different prescriptions developed by the Institute.   

Kevin immigrated in New Zealand in 1995 and joined Phytomed in 1998 as the first employee of the company. He has been instrumental in the development of many of the Kiwiherb products and plays an integral part in the day-to-day operation of the business.  In his current position he is in charge of the manufactory production of various Phytomed and Kiwiherb products, and is responsible for Research & Development activities associated with new product development. 

James Puah
Production Manager

JamesIn total, James has more than 15 years of manufacturing, business planning, operations and business development experience in the pharmaceutical, infant formula, general food and semiconductor sector. His qualifications and trainings include; MBA (The University of Melbourne, Australia), Bachelor of Engineering (Hons, The University of Sheffield, UK), and Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, Advanced Quality Assurance Management, Internal Food Safety Auditor, Six Sigma Lean and Allergen Management for Food Manufactures etc. His experience includes new factory  feasibility studies, new factory setup, project planning & implementation, lean manufacturing, factory automation, implementation of health & safety  systems, process design and layout, quality system setup, strategic business planning and ERP scoping & implementation.  

Jimmy Valerio
Production Coordinator

Jimmy_2.jpgAs Production Coordinator at Phytomed, Jimmy’s focus is ensuring that quality products and services are delivered to our customers on time. Jimmy gained his qualification as an Industrial Engineer from the Mapua Institute of Technology, Philippines in 1995. Through various roles both in the Philippines and NZ, he has gained the ability to work well with people and the knowledge to improve systematic methods and processes through the use of statistical analysis, interpersonal communication, design, planning, quality control, operations management and problem solving. His prior experience in managing production and manufacturing, warehousing, production planning and inventory control played an important part in preparing Jimmy for what is an extremely challenging position at Phytomed – a role he has successfully made his own since joining the company in 2007.  

Sandy Jayasuriya
Quality Assurance Manager

Sandy_1.jpgSandy is a member of NZOQ and professionally recognized as a Certified Quality Practitioner. She graduated from University of Colombo with a BSc and PgDip in Education and worked as a secondary school teacher in Sri Lanka for several years. Sandy has 17 years NZ experience in quality assurance in regulated industries such as biotechnology, veterinary medicine and natural medicine. Sandy has extensive experience in developing; implementing and embedding Quality Systems in GMP regulated manufacturing environments, working with ISO, FDA, MHRA, TGA and ACVM regulatory bodies. Since joining the Phytomed team in January 2011, Sandy has been successfully leading the Phytomed quality system and driving its continuous improvement.

Nicole Peach
Management Accountant


Nicole started her career in 2005, working in Public Practice, after completing her studies at The University of Auckland. She went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant in 2008, specialising in Financial Management and Audit. Being a good kiwi girl, Nicole then headed off on her OE to live and work in London as well as to explore lots of amazing European destinations.

During this time, Nicole developed a keen interest in health and wellbeing with a passion for natural and herbal products. Nicole jumped at the chance to join the Phytomed team, as the products and company ethics are a perfect fit for her personality. Nicole looks after all things financial within the business including, costing & pricing, reporting & analysis and budgeting.

Noeline Jonkers
Sales & Marketing Manager

Noeline_Jonkers-100.jpgNoeline joined Phytomed in 2000 as the first sales representative for the Kiwiherb brand. At the time she had recently graduated as a Naturopath and Medical Herbalist, and valued the opportunity to work with a company whose ethics and values so closely mirrored her own. Noeline was with the company for seven years during the infancy of the Kiwiherb brand  & during her time there, saw it take it’s first steps into the UK and Asian markets. In 2007 Noeline left the business and moved to Sydney to take up a Business Development role with Australia’s leading contract manufacturer of health supplements, but the pull of Phytomed was too strong and she returned in 2013 to take up the role of Sales and Marketing Manager. In her current role she is responsible for sales and marketing activities in both domestic and export markets. 

Jude Melbourne
Sales Manager


Jude joined Phytomed in June 2015 bringing a wealth of national sales leadership experience from market leading branded consumer goods companies over many years. She enjoys the challenges of working with a diverse range of customers and quality brands, providing the support and direction to the team across the country.

Having travelled extensively overseas, Jude is passionate about our Kiwi heritage and felt the opportunity to contribute to the growing success of the business provided an excellent fit. Jude believes that understanding the needs of customers and consumers is paramount to success and is delighted to work with such a committed team of people.

Jude’s origins are from Christchurch where she managed retail health stores before entering corporate life and so in some ways it’s been a full circle returning to the now greatly developed business of natural health.

Laetitia O’Connell
Customer Service Manager

Laetitia_2.jpgLaetitia began working with Phytomed at the beginning of 2014, when she leapt at the opportunity to put her naturopathy studies into practice.  She came to natural medicine through a vast and varied path, including catering to the whims of the rich and famous aboard superyachts. Superyachting is not a lifestyle for the faint hearted, with a work-hard-play-hard attitude prevailing, and she noticed the toll that stress and good times were taking on her own health and those around her.   It was clear that all the money in the world did not buy good health, so her interest in complementary medicine was sparked.

This inkling lead her to Vancouver, where she lived for a year working in a health store and completed her first naturopathy papers.  After seeing many beautiful places, there was still one that topped the list everytime, so Laetitia returned to New Zealand to continue her studies in Naturopathy and Herbal medicine.  She graduated from Wellpark College in 2013 as the Top Clinical Naturopathic student and also achieved the award for Overall Excellence.

Nerena Morris
Kiwiherb Product Specialist, West and North Auckland and Upper North Island


Nerena graduated from the University of Auckland in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science, and then followed her studies with Medical Herbalism and Naturopathic qualifications, graduating in 1996 from South Pacific College. Since graduating, Nerena worked for 6 years as a technical consultant and sales representative for a highly respected Australasian supplement company. This enabled her to build wonderful relationships with practitioners and stores around New Zealand. She has also worked as a medical herbalist and naturopath in a clinic, giving her 17 years of experience with people and various conditions. 

Mother to three children, Nerena has an incredible passion for herbal medicine and helping others, and is a keen gardener in her spare time. Nerena is excited to be working with Kiwiherb in the customer services representative role servicing the needs of West and North Auckland and the Upper North Island. 

Paulette Reidy-Davis
Kiwiherb Product Specialist, Upper North Island


Paulette joined the team in April 2015 after graduating from South Pacific College with a Bachelor of Natural Medicine.  She runs a part-time naturopathic clinic in Auckland where she is continuing to grow her passion for Rongoa Māori (native plants) and their traditional uses.

She has previously worked in customer services roles including running a number of successful small businesses while raising her three children. Her love of natural medicine stem from her Māori heritage and passion for natural healing.  These interests have led her to engage in other healing modalities including completing a Diploma of yoga.

Paulette brings her enthusiasm, experience and wealth of knowledge to the Kiwiherb Product Specialist role, supporting and educating our stockists within the Central, South and East Auckland, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty regions.

Renee McGarva
Kiwiherb Product Specialist, Lower North Island


Renee graduated with a degree in Applied Science majoring in Natural Resource Management in 1998 from Massey University and after many years working abroad, came home to New Zealand in 2009 to commence her studies in Natural Medicine. While completing her degree, Renee juggled working in a busy Auckland health store, which provided her invaluable experience of the retail health industry and to expand her health product knowledge.

Renee has recently completed her Bachelor of Natural Medicine qualifying as a Naturopath and Medical Herbalist from South Pacific College. She is very excited to be working with Kiwiherb as customer services representative based in Wellington and servicing the lower North Island and upper South Island.

Kerryn McArthur
Kiwiherb Product Specialist, South Island


Kerryn is a graduate of the Canterbury College of Natural Medicine (2010) and South Pacific College of Natural Medicine (2012) and holds a Diploma in Clinical Herbal Medicine and Bachelor of Natural Medicine. Since graduating, she has excelled in a number of different roles, including practicing as a Medical Herbalist & Naturopath in her own clinic in Wanaka, and most recently, she has worked as an Area Sales Manager & Account Manager for one of the most highly respected supplement brands in Australasia. Since joining Kiwiherb in August 2014 Kerryn has become an invaluable member of the team, providing outstanding customer service support to our South Island customers.

Krushanta Naidoo
Office Manager


Krushanta comes to us with a host of varied experience in Customer Service focused roles where she was tasked with customer safety as well as care for the elderly. She graduated from Auckland University of technology with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Microbiology in 2010. Krushanta entered the scientific industry in a sales role for an Australasian Scientific equipment distributor, supporting customers with internationally branded equipment solutions for various applications.

As the Office Manager Krushanta supervises all administrative activities that facilitate the smooth running of the Phytomed/Kiwiherb office, including processing orders, invoice & account queries, and stock management.

Rochelle Bailey
Customer Service Administrator


Rochelle’s interest in the Natural Health Industry began in 1998 when she studied Transcendental Meditation (TM) and Sivananda Hatha Yoga. She has always had an interest in nutrition, and is passionate about the importance of healthy eating for long term health and happiness. After years of practicing meditation, yoga and vegetarianism, Rochelle realised that she wanted help others live a healthy and happy life which lead to studying Natural Medicine. Once she graduated as a qualified Naturopath and Massage Therapist in 2011, she practiced in Christchurch until early 2015 where she moved to Auckland to join the Phytomed and Kiwiherb team.

Rochelle’s passion for helping people means she is naturally drawn to a role in customer service, and her life experiences have armed her with the confidence required to ensure our customers receive the quality customer service which compliments our premium products.