Team members Archive

Jacob Burrell – Vet Nurse

I completed the CVN last year and am finishing my DVN this coming year. I have an interest in all weird and wonderful pets and keep lovebirds, axolotls, a fire-bellied newt, as well as regular cats and dogs.

Laura Simmons – Customer Service & Vet Nurse

Laura grew up in Queenstown and moved to Auckland in 2014. Laura loves all animals especially dogs and farm animals. This love prompted her to study a diploma in Veterinary Nursing through Vet Nurse Plus. Prior to studying Laura worked in admin and accounts including being an office manager. In her spare time you can find Laura horse riding, skiing or hiking with her fox terrier cross Jackson.

Brooke Howearth – Vet Nurse

Brooke is a recent Vet Nurse Plus graduate who joined the Vets North Team in 2020. Brooke moved from Whangarei to Auckland to study her passion and was raised in a large combined family with a fair share of land. She only has one fur baby now, an English Staffy named Koha who is her entire world. In her down time, Brooke can be found in the gym, at her favorite beaches up north, learning how to sew and upcycle thrifted clothes or spending all her savings fixing her car that everyone has been telling her to scrap for years.

Deana Lynch Blosse – Vet Nurse

Deana graduated with her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing in 2016 through Vet Nurse Plus. Since then she has worked primarily in small animal General Practice Clinics and decided to join the Vets North Team in December 2020. Deana loves all aspects of her Veterinary Nursing role but she has a special interest in the nurturing aspects of her job including caring for hospitalised patients and cats with Hyperthyroidism as she has previously managed all admissions for a referral center for Radioactive Iodine treatment. When Deana is not at work you can usually find her with her partner Ryan making cards/crafts or learning to knit.

Samantha Pribicevich – Vet Nurse

Samantha qualified with a Diploma in veterinary nursing in 2015. Since then she has since worked for two other clinics in the west Auckland area before joining the Vets North team. Sam’s interests are patient care, surgery and radiology. Sams always been an animal lover growing up in Massey with a few dogs and cats over the years but for now she has just two cats which she absolutely loves. When she’s not working, she is busy with partner Sean their two boys Blake and Karter on the rugby field, at the beach or just out for an adventure.

Richard Jin – Vet Nurse

Richard completed his Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at Unitec in 2017, and then worked as a veterinary nurse since. After one and half year of nursing, he decided to challenge himself  and completed Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing in 2020. He holds sub-committee position at New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association, which promotes the importance and professionalism of kiwi veterinary nurses.

Krystyna Pye – Vet Nurse

Since completing her vet nurse training in 2011 she has developed a keen interest in critical care nursing, canine psychology and all aspects of surgical nursing. Krystyna lives with her two dogs Holly and Max, four cats and whatever foster animals she may have at the time.

Sal Thorburn – Vet Nurse

Sal returned from living in the UK in 2013 & studied vet nursing. She has recently moved to Kumeu from South Auckland, where she has strong ties. Previously working at the SPCA, Sal has a passion for animal welfare, education & animal behaviour. She lives near Riverhead Forest with her partner Gareth, their 3 dogs & 2 cats. Sal grew up in the suburbs & is interested in learning as much as possible about large animal & equine patients as possible.

Sal has also taught puppy preschool in the past & loves to help new puppy (& kitten) owners.

Dr Angie Stringer – BVet Med

Angie joined the small animal vet team in 2014 and has spent the last couple of years at home with her two young children. She is excited to re-joining the team and will mainly be based at our Silverdale clinic. Angie lives on a lifestyle block just out of Helensville with her horse, pet sheep, cows and cats.

Dr Mark Young – BVSc

Mark is a partner in the practice and works on the equine side of the clinic.  He has worked in many diverse places including Gisborne, Matamata & Morocco.  Mark is experienced treating all
types of horses from the Donkeys and wild Shetland ponies of Marakesh to the more typical Sport horses of New Zealand.   His areas of particular interest is lameness examinations & diagnostic imaging.

Mark will be familiar face to many for his starring role in Vet Tales alongside his mate Stacey from Vetora.  Follow their lives on TV1 Wednesday’s at 7.30pm.

Mark lives in Waimauku with his wife Caitlin & three boys, Monte, Kobe & Makai.  When he gets some free time outside of work he can be found fishing in the Coromandel, on the local cricket pitch and is always striving to brew the perfect beer.

Dr Mark Anderson – BVSc

Mark was born in the UK but moved to Helensville in 1975, aged 16.  He went to Kaipara Collage for a year and then working on a local dairy farm for a year before going to Massey University to study Veterinary Science.  After staying on for an extra year he graduated with both a Batchelor and Master of Veterinary Science degree.  His Masterate was in deer parasitology, and he maintains a passion for parasitology to this day.

After finishing at Massey he moved with his wife Maureen to Ruatoria on the East Coast doing sheep and beef work and station horses.  After two years he moved back to Helensville to work for the Kaipara Vet Club and has remained there since.  The practice has changed name several times and location once onto the main street but can still trace its roots back to the 1950’s.

Mark is on of the remaining old school vets who will turn his hand to anything.  Whilst large animal practice is his passion, especially sheep and beef farming, small animals, alpaca, horses and dairy farming are all within his scope.  Mark is also a long serving member of the Helensville Volunteer Fire Brigade and a past Chairman of the Helensville Primary School BOT.  He is one of the Directors at Vets North.

Mark has a small block outside Helensville where he has built a house and raised three daughters.

Dr Graeme Ashby – BVSc, BSc(Hons), MACVS

Graeme is a partner in the practice and joined Kumeu Veterinary Services in 2007 to lead the companion animal side of the practice.  Since Kumeu Veterinary Services & Helensville Veterinary Services merged in 2014 he now leads the Companion Animal team across both clinics.

He has successfully completed examinations in companion animal internal medicine, gaining membership to the prestigious Australian College of Veterinary Scientists.  Graeme has expertise in both medicine and surgery of all companion animals, exotic pets, rabbits and birds.

Graeme grew up in Waimauku and now lives just a stones throw from his childhood home with his wife Lizzie, son Cole and Schnack dog Rufus.  In his spare time you can find him at the Muriwai Surf Club or cycling the local roads.

Dr Dave van Zwananberg – BVet Med (Hons), Cert AVP Eq Med, MRCVS

David graduated from London in 2005 and initially worked in mixed practice in Devon in the UK.  He is a partner in the practice and is a highly valued member of our equine team. His areas of interest are lameness, reproduction and general surgery.
David lives in Muriwai with wife Amy & dogs Jasper, Fathom & Weasel.  Outside of work he can usually be found down the beach kitesurfing or when the wind is not blowing wakeboarding.

Lisa Pedersen – Practice Manager

Lisa joined the Team in 2013 & works between our Clinics as Practice Manager.  She brings many years experience in marketing, business administration & sales.  She worked overseas for many years in America running a large Equestrian Centre along with a stint as a photographer on Cruise Ships in South Africa.

She doesn’t go far without her Cocker Spaniel Capone who is lucky enough to join her at work, although he doesn’t work quite as hard!

Lisa lives in Wainui on her lifestyle block & is kept busy with her horses & Maine Coon cats.

Dr Catherine Phillips – BVSc

Cathy is a dairy farmer’s daughter who arrived up in Helensville in the early 80’s & made her home here.  She was initially a ‘cow girl’ serving a predominantly dairy practice in the early Helensville days.  She has now moved into the small animal practice & has now become a ‘cat girl’.

She lives on a lifestyle block with her two & four legged menagerie.

Dr Keren Fraser – BVSc & BSc

Keren graduated in 2006 from Massey University and spent the following four years in the Bay of Islands in mixed practice mainly dealing with dairy cows.  She then spent two years traveling
around the UK focusing on small animals and returned to her native West Auckland to cover a maternity leave role & has stayed with us.

Dr Elke Haag – Dr Med Vet

Elke joined Kumeu Veterinary Services in 1996 and since the merger currently works in the companion animal side of the practice at Vets North Kumeu & Waimauku.  She studied veterinary medicine at the Tieraerztliche Hochschule in Hannover, Germany.  She moved to New Zealand in 1993 to complete her post graduate research project.

Elke lives on a lifestyle block in Taupaki which she shares with her husband, two girls, several horses, sheep, chickens and her cat Moritz.

Dr Elsa Flint – BVSc

Elsa joined the Vets North team in a part time capacity as a Small Animal Vet.  She is one of the most qualified animal behaviour experts in New Zealand.  She runs Animals with Attitude behaviour clinic which takes referral animal behaviour cases from Auckland and beyond.

Elsa has a MSc(Hons) in Behavioural Zoology, Bachelor of Veterinary Science (1991), Membership of the Australian & NZ College of Veterinary Scientists in animal behaviour and has recently completed a PhD in Veterinary Science (Behaviour).  She also lectures Animal behaviour at a training school for Veterinary technicians and is guest lecturer at Massey University in the field of animal behaviour.  She has also co-authored six books on animal care and behaviour and has published several scientific papers.

Elsa can be found at Vets North Helensville on Saturday mornings & at Vets North Huapai & Veterinary Rehab Centre during the week.

Dr Jess Slattery – BVSc

Jess joined the farm animal and equine veterinary team as a new graduate in 2019. She pursued a veterinary degree at Massey University after training as a veterinary technologist in 2015 and gaining clinical experience in both companion animal and rural veterinary practices. Jess grew up in Auckland and now lives in Helensville with her husband Nick, two catahoula leopard dogs Koda and Echo, and rescue cat Wendy. In her spare time Jess can be found riding her horse Rusty or enjoying the sunshine at one of the West Coast beaches.

Dr. Leanne Whittaker – BVet Med

Leanne graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2017.  She started as a mixed veterinarian and soon developed a love of small animal surgery, within an emergency setting.  Leanne did  2 years of emergency medicine before joining the Vets North team as a small animal vet.

You may see Leanne at Show Jumping and Cross Country events on her horse  Zoro, or walking her English Springer Spaniel Cecelia.  She also has a rescue cat Tammy.