About Our Practice

Establisehd in 2012, Aspiring Bariatrics, Laparoscopy and Endoscopy Limited is the specialist surgical practice of Dr Mark D Smith.  Dr Smith has extensive training and experience in using the latest laparoscopic techniques to provide surgical care for patients in Otago and Southland.

Dr Smith is a Consultant Bariatric and Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon at Mercy Hospital with specialist training and extensive experience in laparoscopic upper gastrointestinal and weight loss surgery and other advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Dr Smith completed medical school and specialty General Surgical training in New Zealand. He was convocated as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2005. Following his General Surgical specialty training he undertook further specialty training in surgery of the liver and bile ducts in Edinburgh, Scotland; and Bariatric and Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery in Oregon, USA. He also completed a Master of Medical Science Degree in evidence based medicine.  Following this, Dr Smith worked in the USA for two years as a specialist bariatric surgeon at Oregon Weight Loss Surgery, a certified bariatric center of excellence that undertook more than 500 weight loss operations per year. 

In 2011, Dr Smith chose to return to New Zealand to raise his family and to establish the bariatric surgery program at Southland Hospital, later Southern DHB. In 2018, he relocated to Dunedin Hospital to join the regional team treating cancers of the stomach and oesophagus. He has conducted extensive research in to improving the safety of bariatric surgery and published multiple peer reviewed articles and book chapters. These include Surgical options for failed laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding in the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery textbook. 

In December 2020, Dr Smith resigned from Southern DHB to concentrate on providing the best possible service for patients of his private practice.  

Dr Smith’s current surgical practice involves the application of advanced laparoscopic (keyhole) techniques for weight loss surgery as well as the treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux, hernias, and gallstones. Since specialising in 2009, he has performed over 1000 weight loss operations.  Dr Smith is a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Obesity Surgery Society of Australia and New Zealand, and OraTaiao – The New Zealand Climate and Health Council.

Dr Smith is the proud father of two beautiful girls and enjoys cycling, skiing and surfing in his spare time.


Dr Mark D Smith

Meet Our Team

Sharon Smith


Sharon graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1997.  She has worked extensively on both medical and surgical wards in the public and private hospital settings throughout New Zealand.  

Sharon is the practice manager and practice nurse for Aspiring Bariatrics Laparoscopy and Endoscopy Limited.



Abby is a Registered Nurse who has been working in theatre at Mercy Hospital since 2018.
Abby completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences in 2021 with a strong focus in bariatric surgery and exercise. 
Abby works in the Dunedin clinic where she has a special interest in working out what type of activity is appropriate for the patient to ensure they have the best possible journey after surgery. 
Sharon Smith


Renee is a Registered Dietitian and the Director of Renovate Nutrition, established in 2012. Renee and her team have been providing the nutrition care of our clients for over 10 years. Renee is passionate about supporting her clients to achieve their nutrition & weight loss goals and feel their best. Renee has a friendly, approachable style and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in bariatric surgery nutrition to support you at every step of the way. 



Josephine is a Dietitian and Emotional Release Coach who specialises in guiding you through periods of weight regain or long-term fears of weight regain. She helps you to realign to your health values many years after the surgery and trust in yourself to make food decisions for your unique life. She has supported clients post bariatric surgery with their holistic health since 2016.

Sharon Smith


Dr Latesha Murphy-Edwards is a clinical psychologist who has been practicing since 1996. She worked for the Southern District Health Board until 2015 and has over 20 years’ experience.  She has a broad range of clinical experience, and enjoys working with people of all ages and backgrounds. Latesha works with Mark Smith and his team, supporting people who are considering bariatric surgery. She is also available to provide psychological services post-surgery, if required.

Sharon Smith


Mark Chignell provides the emotional and psychological assistance for patients, before and after surgery.  He is focused on working alongside you for individualised outcomes for long-term health and well-being, not just weight loss. 

He has full memberships with the NZ Association of Counsellors, the NZ Psychological Society and the Australian  Centre for Eating Disorders. He has over 20 years experience in his current role.

Our Locations

Dunedin Consulting and Operating

We are based in Dunedin, on site at Mercy Hospital.  Consulting facilities are in Suite 7 of the Marinoto Clinic with operating at the adjacent Mercy Hospital, Dunedin.  Mercy Hospital and Marinoto Clinic are together nestled in 4.5 hectares of tranquil surroundings at 72 Newington Ave, Maori Hill.  There is ample onsite carparking.

Invercargill Consulting

Aspiring Bariatrics Laparoscopy and Endoscopy Limited has premises conveniently located in the centre of town at 81 Don Street, Invercargill.  We share these premises with Renovate Nutrition Limited for a convenient comprehesive weight loss surgery service.  Parking is available via a closely located council carpark, or metered onstreet parking.  Our premisies are also conveniently located for stops on the Bus Smart buses.

Queenstown Central Consulting

Dr Smith is pleased to offer consulting at two convenient locations in Queenstown.  

The Queenstown Medical Centre  is a comprehensive integrated family medical centre with clinics located in central Queenstown, Remarkables Park, Hanleys Farm and Arrowtown.  Dr Smith consults at the 9 Isle Street surgery in Queenstown on a monthly basis.  This location is best suited to those based in central Queenstown, or from Gelnorchy to Arthur’s point.

Queenstown Consulting - Shotover

Dr Smith also consults at The Doctors Whakatipu Shotover clinic.  This is located at 4 Thirteenth Avenue, Shotover, near the Southern Cross Hospital and Pacific Radiology.  This location is more convenient for those travelling from the wider Central Otago region, or travelling from the north, east or south of the Frankton roundabout.

Queenstown Operating

Beginning in 2022, Dr Smith will also be operating at Southern Cross Central Lakes Hospital in Queenstown.  Southern Cross Central Lakes Hospital is located at 7 Twelfth Hospital, Lake Hayes Estate.

Please note that not all operations are able to be offered at Southern Cross Central Lakes Hospital.

Telehealth Consulting

In addition to face to face consultations at our locations above, we also offer telehealth consultations using the Zoom platform.  This can be used for many follow-up appointments as well as some new patient consultations.  Please contact us to find out more.

To Find Out More Please Contact Us

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We aim to respond to all enquiries within one business day.  If you have been waiting longer than this, please email us or phone us on 0800-377-6484.

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PO Box 6276, Dunedin North, 9059