Meet The Team

Veterinarians

Hugh Bentall BVSc

Practice Principal & Head Large Animal Veterinarian

I have been with the practice for over 30 years now. I enjoy working with animals as well as the ownership of the practice. I have special interests in dairy cattle reproduction and surgery, and orthopaedics in small animals. I find my work in this vet practice stimulating, and I try to do something new or different each year in the vet world. I enjoy being part of a team practice and the chance to share ideas and discuss cases. I spend my spare time at my kids' sports, motor biking (dirt and road), swimming and walking. I'm helping with a few community groups now, with a few committee and board meetings. I look forward to developing the new ideas that we have for the practice.

Jane Langton Burnell BVSc MRCVS

Chief Operating Officer

I have been part of this practice on and off since 1985 when I graduated from the University of Liverpool in England and came to New Zealand to start my career as a vet. It was never my intention to stay, yet here I am settled with a husband and 3 sons who have all now graduated and embarked on their own different careers. My role in the practice has evolved over time, and after over 20 years in predominantly dairy practice, I no longer go out on farm but have moved into a management role. I have seen many changes in the practice, and am always coming up with new ideas to develop and improve what we do.  I am very passionate about the veterinary profession and the way we are continually evolving, and have enjoyed being a founder member of the XLVets group in New Zealand developing programmes such as WelFarm. I still go back to the UK frequently, and love to spend as much time as possible trying to keep up with my boys.

Julie Whitehead BVSc

Head Companion Animal Veterinarian

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Claudia Burrows BVSc

Mixed Animal Veterinarian

claudiaAfter graduating from Liverpool Vet School, England, I headed out to New Zealand for a couple of months of travelling the gorgeous country in a camper with my partner, before settling into our jobs here. We’re excited to start a life together here in NZ and look forward to getting know the area and exploring it further. In my spare time I love running, sea sports, tramping and evening walks on the beach. I very much look forward to progressing as a mixed animal vet at LHVC and to working with the fabulous team.

Nic Chalmers BVSc

Companion Animal Veterinarian

nicI have been working in the Horowhenua since graduating from Massey University In 2011. I have 2 young boys, 4 dogs and 1 cat at home. I work part time to allow me to enjoy training my dogs and having family time.

Keith Christensen BVSc

Mixed Animal Veterinarian

BCS Assessor Cert I graduated from Massey University in 1999 after which I worked in the United States in a small animal clinic and in the North of England during the Foot-and-Mouth epidemic of 2001. I really enjoy the varied life of the mixed practice veterinarian, which can see me diving in to any challenge in any species, any day of the week! My main workload is dairy cattle but I enjoy sheep and beef cattle medicine when I can and have branched out into deer work over the last year as well. The lifestyle blocks of the Horowhenua present us with varied work that keeps us busy with plenty of horse, alpaca, goat and pig work too. I won’t object to throwing my hand in with the dogs and cats either and love a bit of surgery from time to time when they need me. I live with my wife Amanda, children Elisabeth and Ben, with two horses, one dog, two cats, and five ewes on our lifestyle block. Out of the clinic I am the Group Leader for Kotuku Sea Scouts and I enjoy getting outside with the kids as much as I can.

 

Charlene Christensen BVSc

Veterinarian and Headlands Consultant

  Charlene NewBCS Assessor CertI graduated from Massey University in 2010, and have worked for LHVC since 2012.  After having practiced as a mixed veterinarian, I made the move into farm consultancy after starting my training through Headlands (what was previously Intelact). Being married to a dairy farmer, the promotion of animal health and improving farm productivity has been a large driver and an area of interest. Particular areas of expertise are subclinical acidosis and the role on herd production, and finding areas within the farming system to reduce the cost of production. Outside of my working life, I have a young family to keep me busy, and enjoy carpentry and getting outside in my spare time.

Mark Eames BVSc

Large Animal Veterinarian

I grew up on a sheep and beef farm in the Rangitikei where my family diversified into adventure tourism on the Rangitikei River.  After an early exit from Feilding Ag High School I travelled the world as a river guide and kayaker in the NZ winters and helped out on the family farm and tourism business in the summers. In my early thirties I decided to change tack, get a “real job” and got into the vet degree at Massey. My wife, Carrie and I had two sons while I was studying and another after graduating. I worked as a farm animal vet in the Manawatu for 5 ½ years and in Spring 2018 transferred to the Levin and Horowhenua team.  When not out and about on farms in the district my other happy place is on or near the water, with a paddle, rod, kite or outboard throttle in my hand.  I look forward to meeting and working with you and your livestock.  

Sarah Goulter BVSc

Companion Animal Veterinarian

Originally from Whangarei, I graduated from Massey Palmerston North with my BVSc in 2011. I worked in a mixed practice in Taranaki for several years but eventually narrowed my focus to companion animals which have always been my true passion. I moved back to the Manawatu in 2017 where I live with my husband, an energetic young dog, my cat, and two flemish giant rabbits. I have a special interest in working with less common companion animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

Christina Morris DVM CCRP

Companion Animal Veterinarian

I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. I graduated from William Jewell College in 2009 with bachelors degrees in Biology, Bioethics, and Philosophy. I stayed in the area for another year training dressage horses, and in 2010 moved to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, where I attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. It was there that I met my husband, Matthew, who was on the island teaching kite surfing for his gap year. He and our 3 dogs moved back to the States in 2013. I finished my doctorate in veterinary medicine at Oregon State University and remained in Portland, Oregon for 3 years. In 2017 Matthew was accepted to Massey University's veterinary program. I relocated to New Zealand in early 2018 and began working at LHVC. We live on a lifestyle block with our 4 dogs, 2 cats, and 3 goats, but those numbers are sure to grow! I have a deep passion for surgery and rehabilitation, and am a certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner. I plan on beginning my training in acupuncture soon. I am very excited to be in New Zealand!

Catherine Robinson BVSc

Mixed Animal Veterinarian

100_5447Following graduation from the University of Liverpool Vet School, England, I headed to New Zealand for six months. Along the way I picked up a Kiwi boyfriend and a love for the country; so after spending 10 months back home in England working at a mixed practice, I returned to New Zealand. I grew up on a dairy farm in England and have left a huge assortment of pets at home under my Mum’s supervision. I enjoy all aspects of veterinary medicine and look forward to extending my knowledge at LHVC. In my spare time you will find me in the wool shed sweeping wool or running along the many beautiful beaches of the area.

Andrew Weller BVSc

Mixed Animal Veterinarian

100_5403BCS Assessor CertI joined the practice in the start of 2017, moving to the Kapiti Coast with my fiancee.I have a strong interest in equine medicine, and I spent 2016 in an equine specialist hospital in Canterbury. However, I greatly missed pulling calves out in the rain in the early hours of the morning and working with puppies and kittens so sought to return to mixed practice. I thoroughly enjoy working at LHVC with the wide variety of cases and the high standards of being a "Best Practice" clinic. When I'm not working, I'm usually on the beach or hiking in the Tararuas with my hyperactive 4yr old labrador.

Vincent Girardot

VincentOriginating from France, where we had been working for a couple of years, Perrine and I wanted to go and travel a  bit and get away from the French gloominess and grumpiness for some time. We had 2 fabulous years in Scotland and before embarking upon a  third winter we just swapped hemispheres ! I enjoy exploring the world but even more gathering new ideas and alternatives in farming  systems. I love life, not just for casually bantering about things,  but for learning about everything from ‘farm to fork’. I enjoy  growing, breeding, fermenting, cooking and baking things. And snails  above all!

Perrine Detrois

I'm perrine (002)originally from France, where I graduated in 2013 and started working with dairy cows. With my partner Vincent, we have always wanted to try travelling while working, as a kind of slow tourism. That's how we landed in Scotland 2 years ago, to work with sheep, beef cattle and small animals. We have spent a couple of wonderful years there and experienced very long summers and winters. This great experience abroad gave us the desire to extend the adventure and try to travel even further. So here we are, ready to discover everything about New Zealand. We enjoy all kind of outdoors activities which shouldn't be too hard to find here.


Farm Team

Ashleigh BVT

ashleighBCS Assessor CertI graduated from Massey University Palmerston North in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology. Over my uni holidays I worked on several farms in the Manawatu as well as working in a large-animal vet clinic just out of Palmerston North. I came to work here at LHVC in March 2016. I have grown up on a small farm just out of Palmerston North where we've had a large variety of animals, from cows, sheep and chickens, cats and dogs. When I'm not at work, I love playing netball and being outdoors.

Steph BVT

BCS Assessor CertI completed the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Massey University in 2017, where I specialised in working with production animals. Throughout my life I have grown up on both a dairy farm and lifestyle block in the Manawatu region. My favourite thing about being a vet tech is the diversity of my role.The ability to work with a number of different species of animals in this role captured my attention. At home I have a small collection of my own animals including a husky puppy, a cat, 2 rabbits and a hand-trained budgie. Outside of work I love being outdoors, going to the gym and hanging out with friends and family.

Taiesha BVT

tai 2BCS Assessor CertI graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology in 2018, and started out at LHVC straight from Uni. I grew up rurally and have worked and lived with all sorts of farm animals ever since leaving the sunny Bay of Plenty to study. It’s hard to think of an area of this job that interests me more than any other, but I have enjoyed working on lifestyle blocks, dairy farms and also with horses. When not at work, you can find me either riding my own horse, at the gym, down at my local fire station where I am a volunteer firefighter, or tending to my small zoo of animals at home!

Yvonne

YVONNE I started at the clinic in January 2008. At that time I was the farm desk coordinator. My role changed to predominantly being a large animal support person and the farm team leader, but in July 2019 I decided that it was time to leave LHVC in the capable hands of the other farm team members. I am now on a casual contract so I can help out if need be. Working at LHVC is busy but rewarding and no day is ever the same. I was born and bred on a sheep and beef finishing farm. I have many years’ experience in office administration, the equine industry and as a commercial calf rearer. I have a lovely SPCA re-home cat. My husband and I enjoy riding our motorbikes, driving our classic cars, and drinking nice wine – but never at the same time.

Laura

lauraI started working at LHVC in June 2017. I am part of the farm team, and absolutely love it! I was raised in Levin, but moved down to Canterbury with my partner after I finished college. I went to Lincoln University and completed my 1st year of an Agricultural Science degree, which I hope to complete extramurally. After that, I spent 4 years on a dairy farm in Methven, Canterbury.  After 5 years away, we decided it was time to move back to our home town, and have both picked up jobs we really enjoy. I am a big lover of animals, large and small, and have a cat and dog of my own.

Britney

BritneyIn July 2019 I started working at LHVC as the newest addition to the farm team. I have grown up in Levin on a lifestyle block with my horse, sheep and cats. I enjoy being outdoors and with my family and friends. I previously went to Massey University where I completed my Diploma in Science and Technology. I am really enjoying working at Levin & Horowhenua Veterinary Clinic getting to interact with a range of different people and learning about all the different animals and their needs.


Veterinary Nurses

Sarah G DVN

After achieving a BPhED, I chose to study vet nursing as an adult student because I wanted to do something I am passionate about. I graduated with a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing from Massey University in 2011. I love looking after animals as things that may seem small and insignificant, such as giving a cat a brush, can make a lot of difference to the animal and their ongoing wellbeing. I love intense medical nursing as well as working together with the team in an emergency. I love talking to owners about husbandry and nutrition, and have a soft spot for rabbits. I have worked in Australia where I got to treat snake bite victims and blue tongued lizards, and have worked at Massey in the ICU. I have also taught in the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing course at UCOL, but I'm glad to be back nursing. I love it.

Sian DVN

sian I grew up in an animal-loving family and knew I would eventually work with animals. After studying and working for a few years, I decided to go back to uni and study veterinary nursing. I graduated in 2015 and began working here in March 2016. I have really enjoyed my time here. I live with my partner, two cats, and my much-loved greyhound, Binty. In my spare time I enjoy going for bush walks, attending organised meet-ups with other greyhound owners, and spending time with family and friends. Sian is currently on leave.

Marita DVN

Marita 2019I started at Levin and Horowhenua Vets in October 2017 after moving to the Manawatu from Wellington. After 2 years of study, I graduated with my Diploma in Veterinary Nursing in 2018. From a young age I have wanted to do something that gives me a purpose and allows me to make a difference however big or small - and veterinary nursing has done that! I love being an advocate for animals and enhancing their wellbeing. I live in Palmerston North with my fiancé Jordan and our two fur babies Bailey and Marty.

Sarah M CVN

100_5399After completing my vet nursing in 2013, I have worked in Auckland, the Coromandel, Waikato and now here in Horowhenua. I grew up with Labradors & cats, and knew from a young age I would end up working with animals. I have two Labradors & two cats myself, but I love the variety of pets we get to work with. Time off is spent at the beach & exploring our beautiful country.  

Alysha AHT

I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University in 2013. Following graduation I was fortunate to be employed by a small animal practice in Vancouver where my passion for working with animals began. I remained there for almost 4 years during which I completed my Animal Health Technology diploma through a distance program offered by Thompson Rivers University. However, I was not quite done with my education. Upon acceptance to Massey University's Veterinary Science program I moved to Palmerston North, New Zealand in July 2017. I began work as a part time nurse at LHVC in June 2018 and am very grateful to be able to gain clinical experience, maintain my technical skills and study at the same time. My sweet Golden Retriever Ellie Mae is back home but my flatmate's dog, Scooby, and all the lovely patients at LHVC help when I need my fur baby fix.

Yvonne CVN

Sml Yvonne nurseOriginally from Southland, I completed my Certificate in Veterinary Nursing in 2013 at the Southern Institute of Technology. I have always had a love for animals and it is my greatest privilege in life to be able to work with them. I am particularly interested in felid ecology and conservation, and as such completed my Bachelor of Science in biological sciences and psychology in 2017, I am now working towards my Master of science in zoology. I joined the awesome team at LHVC in late 2018 so that I could fuel my passion for animals, and have more hands-on time with them. I am based in Palmerston North and live with my beloved cat Milly, to whom I am an absolute slave. I may be a crazy cat lady but I adore all animals whatever their species.


 

Customer Services & Support Team

Reception

Briar

Born in Levin, I come from a dairy farming background and joined LHVC in September 1993, working full-time.  Over the years this became part-time, and for the past few years I have filled in on a casual basis when reception/admin staff have been on holiday or on sick leave.  I have seen the clinic grow from one small house, to two houses, and then our beautiful present day clinic. I enjoy dealing with the farmers, the public and their much loved pets.

Charlene

charleneI started at LHVC in September 2019 - about a month after immigrating from South Africa. Levin is a wonderful place and I love working with the fantastic staff here at the clinic. Everyone is really friendly! I' am blessed to get to go to work every day with a smile. I look forward to helping you and your animals.    

Hayley

Hayley profileHi, I'm Haley. I am mum to six children, three dogs, four cats, three fish and Millie the rat. Having more than five years experience working in vet clinics has given me the best of both worlds, being able to love and hug all the many different pets that use our services. I love the network of people that the vet clinic encourages and the variety of work that being a vet receptionist offers. My long suffering husband understands that going home with too many pets is part of the job too so that makes it interesting!

Victoria

victoria I started working at Levin & Horowhenua Veterinary Centre in February 2019. Both myself and my husband were working on a large dairy farm in the Taranaki and we have recently moved to a dairy farm the Horowhenua with our 2 dogs and countless chickens! I am enjoying working in a veterinary clinic and the new challenges that the small animal support team brings, it has been very rewarding so far. I can't wait to meet you and your pets because the best part about the job is being able to meet our clients' fur babies and helping them with anything they need!

Wendy

Wendy Being on reception you can have so many emotions all in one day! Excitement & pleasure dealing with kittens & puppies; sheer joy to see the sick, wounded or surgery patient go home; the comfort and compassion we share with clients with the loss of their pet for whatever reason. I think it’s great just knowing we have been there for both client & patient. Having recently retired after 13 years I’m happy to still be a part of all of the above on a casual basis.

William

william2Originally from Otaki, I moved to Levin and grew up in this area. I have two dogs, Gracie is a Fox terrier cross and Harley... and although we aren't too sure what he is, I love them both. One of my biggest passions is to be out in the community helping where I can, I like to be community orientated and involved as much as I can. While working at LHVC is an awesome start into the work force, I've begun studying to be a volunteer First Responder. I really look forward to meeting you and your fur babies.


Administration

Peggy

I have been working at LHVC since 2007. My position as Administration Officer covers a range of duties including looking after the debtors, creditors, accounts for Levin and our affiliated clinic in Otaki. I love a challenge and find there is never a dull moment! When I’m not at work I am spending quality time with my husband, David, and our two adopted pets from the clinic, Bailey and Itchy.  

Paula

PaulaA "newbie" to Levin and Horowhenua Vet Centre, just recently started November 2019.  I have spent many years working at Carters as a Inward Goods Co-Ordinator and two years at Spotlight Kapiti as a Goods Receiver, so ready for the next step (and dare I say challenge!) as an Inventory Manager.  I'm fortunate enough to work in an animal environment, where we care and treat animals daily, as I have been an animal lover all my life. I live in Paraparaumu Beach with my husband Arron, 14 year old son Dominic and two spoilt cats Luca and Millie.  Really looking forward to working with the great team here.