Tāhuhu kōrero

Our story

Where it all began

Tracing our roots back to a small private pathology service in 1960’s Dunedin, our operations have grown to become New Zealand’s largest network of diagnostic laboratories. Since those days down south, there have been some key milestones that have made us who we are today.


  • The 1960s was an important time for medicine in general, not just Pathology. In 1961 Dr Norman Fitzgerald, along with Dr Derek Perry began a private medical laboratory practice, providing community pathology services to the Otago region.
  • After Dr Derek Perry’s retirement, Norman initiated the growth of the practice which would go on to be renamed Southern Community Laboratories.
  • Within a few short decades, privately run laboratories were offering a wide range of diagnostic tests in biochemistry, haematology, microbiology, immunology, histopathology and cytopathology.
  • The development of more sophisticated computer programmes in the 80’s meant labs could be connected to each other, and to those ordering tests.

2001 – 2019

  • The 2000s were a pivotal decade for pathology services in Aotearoa. The establishment of District Health Board’s and the subsequent outsourcing of community and integrated services saw our network blossom into a truly national service.
  • In 2004 Gribbles, joined the whānau. Gribbles are New Zealand’s leading provider of veterinary pathology and diagnostic services.
  • Southern Community Laboratories, were it all began, joined in 2008.
  • Labtests was established in 2009 and began providing community and commercial services the Auckland and Northland regions.
  • Canterbury SCL launched in 2012, winning the contract to provide community testing to this region. In the same year, Medlab South, which covers the Nelson, Marlborough and Timaru regions was acquired by the group.
  • In 2015, Wellington SCL was born when the group won the contract to provide integrated pathology services to the capital.
  • Finally, Taranaki Pathology was launched in 2019 through winning the contract to provide community testing to the region.

2020 – 2022

  • APHG was acquired by the NZ Super Fund, Te Pūia Tāpapa, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
  • We utilised our entire network to become New Zealand’s largest provider of COVID-19 PCR testing, providing timely turnaround for New Zealanders awaiting their results.
  • The group helped essential workers remain operational during the pandemic by performing over 400,000 saliva tests for the Ministry of Health’s national surveillance programme.
  • We helped kiwis to get in the air again by establishing Test to Travel, an end-to-end service which provided travellers with digital proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
  • As part of our commitment to a greener healthcare sector, we worked with Toitū Envirocare to obtain Carbon Reduce certification across our entire group.
  • In 2022, specialist saliva-based COVID-19 provider Rako Science joined the group.


  • The Group launches a new self-requested online testing service MyTests.
  • A partnership with Greencross Health sees our first testing kit be placed on the shelves of retail outlets of well-known pharmacy brands Unichem and Life Pharmacy.
  • APHG rebrands the Group. We are now Awanui.