About physioFIRST


The practice was first established in 1979, providing physiotherapy services to the East Coast. In recent years the practice has expanded in terms of staff, expertise and areas of intervention and the re-brand and renovation reflects this evolution.

We are a dynamic team of qualified members of the New Zealand Private Physiotherapists Association, with over 60 years of combined and varied experience. We are all highly committed to continuing professional development and evidence based practice. Between us we will find a treatment approach that is best suited to you.

Business owner Moira Johnston is a manual therapist who qualified in 1978 in Auckland. Moira has worked predominantly in sports and spinal based private practice except for 6 years as a community physiotherapist at Gisborne Hospital. Moira visits local secondary schools where she carries out onsite treatment for students and staff, reducing out of class hours for students. Moira also runs manual handling and back care prevention programs for various hospitals and businesses in the region. Moira enjoys golf, tennis and recreational walking, she is passionate about rugby, netball, and hockey - being an ex-provincial hockey representative.

Jo Chivers gained his original Physiotherapy qualification in Auckland many years ago (1992), and a few years later completed a Masters in Sports Physiotherapy in Adelaide, Australia. He worked in the Waikato for nearly 20 years and shifted to Gisborne in 2012 with his wife, Karel. Jo has worked with extensively with rugby teams, including the Chiefs, Waikato, and NZ Under 20’s. His main areas of interest include sports injuries and exercise-based rehabilitation. As well as standard Physiotherapy treatment options, Jo also offers Acupuncture for musculo-skeletal injuries. When not at work, Jo is found DIY-ing around the house, working on his and Karel’s classic VWs, or enjoying a local Gisborne wine (or 2…).