• Dr Chris Peterson

    BVSc MACVSc: Owner/Head Veterinarian

    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 overseas the majority of our equine work across both clinics. 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 many pets and two daughters.

Vets and Techs
  • Dr Sandra Hegh

    BVSc: Mixed animal Veterinarian

    Sandy has been here since the early 90’s! She is primarily a farm and equine 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: Small Animal 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: Small Animal 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: Large Animal Veterinarian

    Ben is one of our senior dairy vets, and his main interest is dairy cows. Ben also works out of the Opotiki clinic a couple of days a week. He has completed 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 sportsman. Along with his wife and young children Ben lives in Ohope and loves summers at the beach with the kids.

  • Sally Gummer

    BVSc: Small Animal 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 lifestyle block and their two children who are high level competitive rowers.

  • Heather Wise

    Mixed Animal Veterinarian

    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. 

  • Anna Cochrane

    BVMS MRCVS: Mixed Animal 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 small animal work which gives her time at home to enjoy with her kids but you will also catch her on farm 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.

  • Ashley Graham

    BVSc: Mixed Animal Veterinarian

    After graduating from Massey in 2017, Ashley returned to her home town of Whakatane to join our team. Ashley works as a mixed animal veterinarian out of both our Whakatane and Opotiki clinics, and also has a keen interest in orthopaedics! In her spare time, Ash enjoys anything outdoors - hunting, fishing, biking, and competing in a huge number of multisport races including the infamous GODZONE challenge! Ash is the very definition of 'young and fun', and we are lucky to have her on the team!

  • Carolyn Hamill

    BVSc: Small Animal Veterinarian

    Carolyn graduated from Massey University in 1997 and spent five years working in the Deep South before embarking on an OE. A highlight of her three years overseas was six months working in rural Ethiopia as a cow and buffalo vet! Since returning to New Zealand, she and husband Keith have made Whakatane their home. Carolyn works part time at VHC while raising their three kids. She has recently completed her Master's degree with a thesis on Mycoplasma bovis in dairy cows - no small achievement! Carolyn enjoys dermatology and loves nothing better than seeing itchy cats and dogs! In her spare time she enjoys biking and helping on the Community Board.





    Bridget Malcolm

    BAgrSc(Hons): Practice Manager/Veterinary 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 and her 'other half' Wayne manage a sheep and beef station down on the East Cape, with most weekends being dedicated to her horses, either at home or away at competitions.


    Tai Ibbetson

    BVT: Large Animal Veterinary Technologist

    Tai grew up in the Bay of Plenty and worked in our Whakatane clinic as an after school helper a few years ago now! She completed her Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Massey University in 2018 and worked in Levin until her partner finished up his service in the New Zealand Army, and they both decided it was time to relocate 'back home', where she now works out of our Whakatane and Opotiki clinics once again! Tai brings us a wealth of experience in all things farm, and has a particular interest in lifestyle block services, dairy cattle and small animal rehabilitation. Tai is also an accredited Body Condition Scorer, and co-ordinates our Welfarm programme. Fun fact: Tai is also a volunteer firefighter at the Matata Fire Station, and has been for nine years! In her spare time you can find Tai riding her horses, at the gym, or out adventuring with her two gorgeous dogs Alfie and Maisie!


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 two young sons and enjoys quality time with her family when she isn't working.



    Kayla Anderson


    Vet Nurse

    Kayla is one of our amazing experienced vet nurses and has been with us in the Whakatane clinic since 2019. She has a passion for educating new puppy owners, dentistry and taking fabulous xrays! Kayla owns her home in Whakatane where she lives with her two dogs and a cat called Sausage. Kayla enjoys hunting, fishing, tending to her vege gardens and is a dab hand in the kitchen! Fun fact about Kayla: She has a lime green clarinet and claims to be an above average player!

    Kate Scott

    Vet Nurse

    Kate is our newest fantastic vet nurse and has been with VHC for nearly a year now! Kate is involved in day-to-day running of the clinic - caring for hospitalised patients and looking after day-stay surgery patients. Kate also helps with the running of our Puppy Preschool classes and is currently training to be able to see pets for rehabilitation sessions. Kate has a deep love for our furry feline friends, and has three of her own at home! In her spare time, Kate enjoys fishing and spending time on the beach in Ohope with her family.


    Pippa Moon 

    Vet Nurse/Technologist

    Pippa has been with VHC for a number of years now, and is a big part of the nursing team. Her vet tech degree has equipped her with a range of skills, meaning she is a very valuable asset to the team! Pippa is currently making the most of some well-earned maternity leave with her gorgeous baby girl, but we look forward to having her back on board! Pippa has a small zoo of animals at home which keep her busy when she's not at work!


  • Jude Anderson


    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. 

  • Lisa Thomas

    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 family now live in Whakatane. Lisa has many talents and helps out in many fields including vet technician work and managing the shop in our Whakatane clinic.

  • Olivia Mexted


    Raised in the Eastern Bay on a dairy farm in Waimana, Olivia joins our reception team 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. Due to her farming background, she is affectionately known as the 'farm guru' by many of our dairy farmers!




Support Staff - Opotiki

    Isobel Rau

    Vet Nurse

    Isobel joined our team in 2020 as a fabulous vet nurse.  After studying and working as a Rural Animal Technician in the South Island, she is happy to be based in Opotiki, not far from her familys sheep, beef and deer farm in Matawai.

  • Allister Watson

    Commercial Sales/Technical Support

    Allister (also affectionately 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 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.


    Jodi Greenall


    Jodi joined us in our Opotiki clinic in 2021 as one of our superstar receptionists. Jodi has a varied background having been a hair dresser, she's worked in the mines and also has a background in dairy farming. Since starting with us she has also accumulated a couple of furry additions to her family, which you might see from time to time 'overseeing' Jodi on the front desk!

  • Carmen Donner

    Admin/Clinic Support

    Carmen has been with the clinic since December 2013, she is one of the friendly voices who will receive your phone calls. She manages a lot of the administration work, bookings and sales.


    Petra Parkinson

    Vet Nurse

    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. 

  • Lizzie Saxony

    Receptionsist / Vet Nurse

    After woking for a vet clinic in Auckland Lizzie saw the light and moved to Opotiki and joined our team. Lizzie manages most of the small animal suppliesa in our Opotiki clinic, but also assists with vet nursing and bookings. A self-professed sucker for neonates, Lizzie is kept busy fostering animals for local charities, and commonly has multiple pups and kittens on the go! Lizzie works three days a week allowing her plenty of time to enjoy riding her horses.