• Dr Chris Peterson

    BVSc MACVSc: Principal Veterinarian/Owner

    Chris has worked here for an undisclosed but significant number of years, having previously worked in Tauranga, the Manawatu and at Massey University. He has a particular interest in Equine and Dairy work, but covers all areas of the business. Chris performs Pre-Purchase Exams for horses and is a fully accredited Body Condition Scorer. Chris has a passion for horses both work related and recreationally. He enjoys hunting his horses through the winter and travels about the country showjumping in the summer. Chris and his wife Gillian now live in Whakatane with their two beautiful young girls and many pets.


  • Dr Sandra Hegh

    BVSc: Veterinarian

    Sandy has been here since the early 90’s! She is primarily a dairy vet however she is a very experienced orthopaedic surgeon and does all the orthopaedic surgeries for both clinics. Horses and dogs are Sandys other passions and she has accumulated a few of both. She is a keen tally-ho hunter during the winter and is kept busy training her young horses throughout the year.

  • Dr Joanne Allan

    BVSc: Veterinarian

    Jo started in Opotiki on the 1st of June 1999, she enjoys small animal medicine and surgery although she covers farm calls as required. Jo is a breeder of Belgian Shepherds and has a very keen interest in all facets of dog training, obedience, agility and breed showing. She loves competing with her dogs and tending to her lovely farm plot in Opotiki.

  • Dr Gillian Hogarth

    BVMS MRCVS: Veterinarian

    Gillian (Mrs Boss) is from a Dairy farm in Ayrshire (west coast of Scotland) and studied at Glasgow University, working in Scotland and Northern England after graduating as a dairy/small animal vet. She was involved in the control and eradication of the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001. Gillian discovered New Zealand working as a locum in Opotiki and has since decided to make it her home with husband Chris. Due to motherhood Gillian works part time doing mainly small animal consults and surgery.

  • Dr Ben Miller

    BVSc: Veterinarian

    Ben is our senior dairy vet in Whakatane, and his main interest is dairy cows. Ben also works out of the Opotiki clinic a couple of days a week. He is currently completing a course in Advanced Dairy Production Systems, is an accredited body condition scorer and is InCalf trained so is a wealth of dairy knowledge. He also claims to be a fully certified disbudding and teatseal insertion specialist! In his spare time Ben is an avid fisherman and keen surfer. Along with his wife and 3 young children Ben lives in Ohope and loves summers at the beach with the kids.

  • Sally Gummer

    BVSc: Veterinarian

    Has worked in Whakatane since 2000 after working in a range of places including Waiuku, North Shore and Te Puke. She enjoys all aspects of small animal work and has been a mentor to many young vets through the practice. Sally and her husband Ron are kept busy with their Matata lifestyle block and their two children who are high level competitive rowers.

  • Heather Wise


    Heather is originally from Canada but has been working in New Zealand for a number of years as a mixed Veterinarian with a dairy focus. She coordinates a lot of our animal health programmes in Whakatane and is handy in all fields of the job. She and her husband Bruce who is farming in the region live conveniently between the two clinics so she spends Mondays and Thursdays in Opotiki and the rest of the week in Whakatane.

  • Anna Cochrane

    BVMS MRCVS: Veterinarian

    Anna gained her qualifications from Glasgow, Scotland. From then until 2003, when she came to New Zealand she worked in a Mixed Practice in the Derry/Donegal area of Ireland. Her main interest were in Sheep and Beef production, however she is a mixed practice Vet in Whakatane and due to motherhood (she got a bit carried away with 4 children) she mainly does part time small animal work which gives her time at home to enjoy her kids but you will also catch her afterhours. Anna is married to Charles and they live on a small lifestyle block out of Waimana. Outside of work Anna enjoys most sports especially playing soccer and hockey and looking after her menagerie of animals/children.

  • Martine Murtagh

    BVSc: Veterinarian

    Martine is back with us in Opotiki after a grand trip to the other side of the world on her big OE. Following her holiday Martine spent time at a small animal clinic in Whitianga, before deciding a return to her beloved large animals was on the cards. Now back in the Eastern Bay she can often be found up to her knees in who-knows-what while she attends to the needs of our local farmers and their animals.

Practice Manager

  • Bridget Malcolm

    BAgrSc(Hons): Practice Manager/Technician

    Bridget joined our clinic in 2004, working primarily as a rural animal technician. In 2006 she took on the Commercial Managers role for both clinics. Since then she has progressed into the role of Practice Manager. Bridget worked for over 10 years in the sheep and beef industry as a shepherd, casual musterer, and farm manager mainly in the Taupo and Matawai areas. She still enjoys getting out on farm doing technician work. Bridget manages a life style block at Ohiwa which runs sheep, beef and horses, with most weekends being dedicated to her horses, either at home or away at competitions.

Support Staff - Whakatane
  • Rebecca Wright

    Vet Nurse

    Bex is our senior vet nurse and finds the job highly rewarding as she loves seeing people's pets go home happy and healthy. She moved to the BOP from Hamilton in 2007 and is a central part of our companion animal team with her years of experience, excellent handling abilities and great initiative. She has a young son named Thomas and another on the way for 2016 so we are looking after her well

  • Jude Anderson

    Reception/Retail Sales

    Jude welcomes you at the clinic in the mornings until 12pm and can be relied on to help out with all things especially having a good time. Jude and her husband Mike live at Taneatua on a lifestyle block with fig trees, cattle and horses.

  • Melanie Goodburn


    Mel works mornings in the office and keeps tabs on our extensive pile of paper work. She has just come back to work after having her second beautiful baby with husband Steve.

  • Lisa Ross

    Vet Nurse/Technician/Reception

    Lisa joined our team in early 2010 as a qualified vet nurse, gaining her Certificate in Vet Nursing from Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. Originally from Opotiki, Lisa and her husband and young baby now live in Whakatane. Although she took a short break from work recently due to motherhood she is back, to lend a hand in many fields including rural technician work and managing the pet shop (and keeping Charlie happy).

  • Olivia Mexted


    Raised in the Eastern Bay, on a dairy farm in Waimana, Olivia joins us having completed her Bachelor of Tourism Management at Victoria University in Wellington. Since returning to the Bay Olivia has also volunteered in the Whakatane community, including the SPCA, Blind Foundation, and Theatre Whakatane. Apart from her passion for animals, which serves her well in the clinic, Olivia has a long-standing passion for dance.

  • Nicola Cheer


    Our friendly receptionist Nicola originally hails from Taupo, but has spent many years in the sunny Eastern Bay of Plenty. She was drawn into a dairy farming life by her husband Steve and came to be an enthusiastic farmer in her own right No longer farming, Nicola enjoys being able to have a link to farming life while working at the Whakatane Veterinary Health Centre.

  • Persil - RIP :(

    Clinic Cat

    Persil (used to live in the laundry, hence the name) definitely had a mind of her own – true to typical white cat nature. She liked to test run the products particularly the new beds and toys. She often sat up on the counter to greet you; however the rule was look, but don’t touch: she could be moody. She strutted around the place like she owned the show which just added to her memorable character; she certainly was a cardinal member of the eclectic Whakatane family. Persil passed away recently after an illness.

  • Charlie - Retired

    Clinic Cockatoo

    Charlie has definitely been our most popular member of staff and he was often happy to have a chat with customers. He may have greeted you with “hello Charlie!” and seen you out the door with “byebye Charlie”. Amazingly he is actually over 30 years old! He came to us from an elderly couple and he was often drawn to people that reminded him of those from his past. He used to have a very extensive vocabulary but a lot of it has been un-used since his move to the clinic as most of his day is filled with hello’s and goodbye’s. He would ask to get out of his cage and loved to throw the ball for you to fetch. Charlie has retired to the countryside where he enjoys a stress-free life of luxury!

Support Staff - Opotiki

  • Kat Walsh

    Vet Nurse

    Kat is our primary vet nurse at the Opotiki Clinic, having completed her Certificate in Veterinary Nursing at the end of 2016 after two years of studying by correspondence whilst working for the clinic. She is born and bred in the mighty Opo and has previously worked at the local paper. She has 3 fur babies (3 dogs) 2 of which she has rescued since working here which is true of her caring nature. Feel free to call her "Catnip".

  • Allister Watson

    Commercial Sales/Technical Support

    Allister (also known as the “drench guy”) joined our team in 2009. He has a farming background including drystock, dairy and even pig farming! In more recent years Allister has been a car salesman. He lends a strong helping hand during spring, working with the vets at disbudding time, and also as part of the dry cow/teatseal insertion team in autumn. A true local, Allister enjoys rugby, league and cricket and spending time with family.

  • Janet Evans


    Janet originally hails from the UK but has been in Opotiki with her husband Tony for over 30 years where they previously bred and showed great Danes! Janet is often the face that greets you at the clinic as our front line staff member but she is very versatile and takes on a vet nurse role whenever a spare set of hands is needed.

  • Carmen Donner

    Admin/Clinic Support

    Has been with the clinic since December 2013, she is most likely the friendly voice who will receive your phone calls. She manages a lot of the administration work, bookings and sales

  • Petra Parkinson

    Vet Nurse/Receptionist

    Petra's back again! With a long history at the Opotiki Vet Centre, Petra is an asset to the business and we are happy to welcome her back on board. Petra took a break from her Vet Nursing career to try farming on the Cape and brings a new wealth in large animal experience to her work here. Now back in the clinic she is taking on studies in the National Certificate in Veterinary Nursing to support her years of experience. 

  • Maryanne Mclay

    Relief Reception/Retail Sales

    MM returned to the Bay of Plenty from her much beloved Waiheke Island in 2003. She is an extremely versatile member of staff who is often called on to fill in at both Opotiki and Whakatane clinics which she does with ease. Maryanne and her partner Phil live at the beautiful Ohiwa. She keeps everyone upbeat and loves a good laugh.