The New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (NZVNA)
The New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (NZVNA) was set up in 1992 to promote the profession of veterinary nursing in New Zealand. With over 1400 members in veterinary practices throughout New Zealand and Overseas, NZVNA protects, inspires and advances the Allied Veterinary Professionals in Aotearoa New Zealand. We regularly keep in touch with our members through online newsletters, quarterly journals, social media and an annual conference.
Through collaboration and advocacy, we support, inspire and advance Veterinary Professionals in Aotearoa New Zealand
Our Values; compassionate, connected, future-focused, and professional.
Our four pillars:
- Improved Remuneration
- Professional Advancement
- Improved Wellbeing/Workplace Culture/Psychological Safety
- Being Fully Integrated Members of the Veterinary Health Care Team
The New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association Executive Committee is made up of a group of dedicated individuals who are passionate about not only veterinary nursing but all Allied Veterinary Professional Careers. The Executive Committee consists of Officers and general committee members who are elected to their positions at AGM. Executive Committee members must be full members of NZVNA.
All members of the Executive Committee hold different portfolios, based on our strategic plan. These include but are not limited to representation on boards, professional advancement, membership benefits, media and marketing, and regulation.
The importance of the NZVNA Executive and the Association itself cannot be overstated. Without the Association, and in particular the Executive Committee, veterinary nurses in New Zealand would not have a collective and effective voice.
The NZVNA Executive Committee is supported by an Administrator.
Amy Ross is a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). Having gained the National Certificate in Veterinary Nursing in 1997 she then worked in general practice for three months before taking a veterinary nursing position at SPCA Auckland. While working there, Amy completed the National Diploma in Veterinary Nursing in 2006.
After working for nine years in shelter medicine, Amy decided it was time for a change and started work at Unitec, teaching veterinary nursing students. It was during this time in 2008 when Amy joined the NZVNA Executive Committee (then council). Amy has held a number of different portfolios while on the Executive Committee including journal editor, social media, e-newsletter, Vet Nurse of the Year and representing veterinary nurses on the board of trustees for Companion Animals NZ. In 2021 Amy took on the position of President. Amy currently works at Auckland Zoo, where she started in 2011.
During her spare time Amy likes to spend time with her family, work in her vegetable garden or work on one of her many hobbies.
Hi I am Laura Harvey and I started in the veterinary sector as a student in 2006 when, partway through a Bachelor of Science (BSc) at Massey University, I realised working in animal health was where my future lay. I put my BSc on hold (to be finished later) and moved back to Auckland to complete my Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Dip. VN) at Unitec. I was successful in gaining a management role in a veterinary practice soon after qualifying and spent the next five years in clinical practice both in New Zealand and overseas.
In 2013, I swapped my scrubs and stethoscope for a classroom, joining the teaching team at Unitec Institute of Technology as a lecturer in applied animal health. During this time, I focused on how I could improve the education provided to veterinary nursing students through the completion of my BSc (psychology) and the attainment of a Post Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Education. I have recently finished my MSc in Advanced Practice in Veterinary Nursing. I am using this to build on my growing research career with my research focus being in two main areas: the well-being of veterinary nurses, and the utilisation of veterinary nurses in practice.
Whilst I still love teaching, and take the opportunity to get into the classroom any time I can (there is something special about those ‘lightbulb’ moments with students that make teaching so rewarding), I have realised my passion is in leadership and management. I was successful in gaining the position of Academic Programme Manager for Applied Animal Health at Unitec, overseeing the three veterinary nursing programmes and the NZ Certificate in Animal Management, leading a team of 12 staff, with a total of over 200 students.
In 2019, I was instrumental in the writing and subsequent NZQA approval of New Zealand's first Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing. A huge achievement for veterinary nursing education in New Zealand.
I joined the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (NZVNA) in 2013. I am the current vice-president and hold the wellbeing portfolio. I am the NZVNA rep and trustee for Healthy Pets NZ (HPNZ), funding research into companion animal health projects. A key focus of this for me is to help support veterinary nurses wanting to undertake research. I am a board member for South Pacific Animal Welfare, joining the board not long after starting the now annual Unitec/SPAW collaborative charity trip to Tonga in December each year.
I also admin the NZVNA Spoonholders Facebook page, providing support for veterinary nurses with disabilities.
I am Lauren Gliddon (Rodgers), my journey in veterinary medicine and animal health began over 15 years ago with a veterinary nursing qualification. This further sparked my passion for caring for animals, ensuring their well-being and owner education. Driven by a thirst for knowledge, I pursued a Bachelor of Animal Science degree, deepening my understanding of animal health, especially in the production animal sector. As my career evolved, I combined my love for animals with business acumen. With roles across pharma and nutrition in sales, key account management, team leadership, and strategy.
Now, part of the Vetlife leadership team, I oversee the companion animal business across 24 clinics with a predominant focus on service offerings. I remain dedicated to promoting animal welfare and making a positive impact in the field. The veterinary industry is unique in itself and I am proud to be a part of it. I hope my leadership and optimism can further ignite or reignite that flame for everyone in the industry I cross paths with.
Executive Committee Members
My name is Luanne Corles and I have been in the veterinary industry for 25 years. I have worked in small animal clinics in Auckland and Hamilton and am currently employed as a veterinary nurse consultant.
I have a special interest in cat & dog behaviour and run successful weight clinic programs for pets as well as puppy pre-school.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science & Psychology and hold a current veterinary nursing qualification. I am currently a committee member for the NZVNA and have recently helped with the 2017 conference gifts. I am also the NZVNA representative for the IVNTA (international association).
My passion is behaviour, nutrition and preventative healthcare and I would like to see all veterinary nurses being involved in a consulting nurse program in their clinics.
I have a Samoyed named Minnie, four cats; Hagrid, Lyla, Hartley and Layla and a budgie named Harry. I am also married and have a daughter who is currently away studying film, media studies and english (creative writing) at Victoria University in Wellington.
My name is Steph Mann. I began working in the veterinary nursing industry in 1998 and completed my Certificate in Veterinary Nursing shortly afterwards with Otago Polytechnic. 3 years later I was in the inaugural year of delivery of Rural Animal Technology with Otago Polytechnic again. The Diploma in Veterinary Nursing came next, but not until 2008. In 2021, I completed my Master in Professional Practice with a focus on animal husbandry.
I have been a lecturer with Otago Polytechnic for a very (very) long time as the Programme Leader for Rural Animal Technology. I have also completed some project work for several of the other educational providers.
I’ve been on the NZVNA Executive Committee since 2020, and this year am a part of the Conitnuing Professional Development sub-committee. One of my aims to to help bring equine nursing into focus and to be inclusive of other allied veterinary professionals. To this end I am also on the Executive Committee of NZVA Large Animal Veterinary Technician group to help triangulate VNs (companion and equine), and LAVTs.
My husband grimly tells people that my work is my passion (true) and my love affair with teaching and learning is now further strengthen by research. Poor guy.
When the laptop is closed I can normally be found next a horse or two (usually my own). My preferred discipline now days is as a carriage driver. I’m also a ferious devourer of books and have a most ecletic appetite also in music.
HiI'm Wendy and I am a registered vet nurse and large animal technician based in Tauranga. I have been working in the veterinary industry for 15 years now in almost every role from reception, clinical nursing, specialist medicine nursing, emergency and critical care, large animal tech, animal drug trials and research, lecturing and education, and leadership and management.
I have a Bachelors in Veterinary Nursing, a Certificate in Rural Animal Technology (L5), a Certificate in Canine Myofunctional Therapy, a Diploma in Feline Medicine from ISFM, and a Graduate Certificate in Business among a host of others.
My areas of passion are mental health and wellbeing in the veterinary sector, team leadership and culture, and utilising nurses and techs for better job satisfaction, patient care, and business development. I am also very passionate about advanced veterinary nursing, including providing higher education and support, in particular, nurses working in specialist hospitals and those interested in making the move into referral medicine. Finally, I want to bring more support and education to those working in our rural animal sector.
Hi everyone my name is Yani Riley.
I’m a registered Vet Nurse working in the imaging department at Veterinary Specialists Aotearoa in our Christchurch branch.
Originally I grew up in the small rural town of Waihi before heading to Auckland where I acquired both my Cert. in Animal Care and my Diploma in Vet Nursing.
I’ve spent the last 10 years working in all aspects around a vet hospital from afterhours and emergency shifts, to being a receptionist, practice manager, GP nursing and now working in a specialist practice.
In my spare time I enjoy exploring new foods, lifting weights at the gym and I’m about to try my hand at mountain biking having just moved to Christchurch.
In 2022 I was lucky enough to get a spot in the NZVNA executive committee I'm still learning a lot but I’m excited for the opportunity to give back to my fellow nurses in so many different ways!
My name is Lisa Hamilton, I graduated from Massey University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology. I nursed for 7 years in busy mixed practices in both Piopio and Waihi/Whangamata. I began as a sole charge Nurse and Large Animal Tech in Piopio and worked my way up to Clinic Co-Ordinator and head nurse in Whangamata. In 2022 I joined the team at Zoetis as an area manager.
I have been an NZVNA member since I graduated in 2014, and I am very excited to be joining the Executive committee in 2023. I am looking forward to helping my fellow nurses and I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the amazing vet nurse community we have here in NZ.
My passions are in dog behaviour, anesthesia and continuing education for nurses. I currently have a German Shepherd named Brax and a Heading Dog x Staffie named Stan. I spend my free time down at the beach swimming with them and I also love to go fishing off the Waihi Beach Coast.
Hi I’m Lisa McConnell and I have been welcomed onto the NZVNA executive committee this year.
I have worked within the veterinary industry since 2008 as a young sole charge vet nurse in an equine clinic to office management within vet clinics in latter years learning every role in between particularly really enjoying emergency triage and surgical nursing. I have worked in large vet groups as well as locally owned and operated clinics both CA and LA with a keen interest in operations management creating a fair, fun and productive work environment.
My husband and I live on his family farm in mid Canterbury along with our baby girl Violet who arrived in the world late Feb this year. Our 3 legged cat Trev and huntaway Oak have mercifully accepted Violet as part of their pack. Getting outdoors and working with the animals on the farm is one of my favourite past times and in the summer months heading down to the McKenzie country for a water ski and dip in the glacial fed lakes.
We are very fortunate to have such great support from communities and committees such as the NZVNA and I look forward to being a part of the growth and change while shining a light on the superstars that keep our vet clinics running like well oiled machines - that is the vet nurses of NZ.
Hello, my name is Natalie.
I have been a qualified veterinary nurse for over 20 years. Working in a mixture of private, corporate and charity clinics.
During my time as a nurse, I have gained a lot of experience in all disciplines of clinical nursing/practice management and have a passion for nurse development and team members wellbeing.
Currently I am a Vet Area Manager and support six veterinary clinics. My role allows me to mentor Practice Managers. ensure that our clinic teams are upskilled and providing great clinical standards of care, as well as making sure that they are kept safe mentally and physically.
I have learnt a lot in previous roles of what good looks like and I am grateful that my role allows me to put my experience into practice.
I live in Auckland with my husband, daughter, cat and dog. When I am not at work, I enjoy live music and eating out.
It is such privilege to become a board member of the NZVNA. I am looking forward to working alongside such a great group of people. Where we can continue to raise the standards and support our nursing community.
Hi, My name is Meg and I’m a 2019 graduate from Masseys Bachelor of Veterinary Technology. I have been working in the South Waikato as both a small animal nurse and large animal technician ever since.
I grew up in New Plymouth then moved to Palmerston North to study before accepting my job at South Waikato Veterinary Services in Tokoroa. I have a strong passion for small animal nursing and in 2021 I took on the role of head nurse. I have enjoyed helping the nurses on my team learn and grow all the way from students to confident and skilled individuals.
I am excited for the opportunity to be on the executive committee for 2023, I would love to be able to give back to this profession and help its growth by sharing my experiences and enthusiasm. I am sure I also have a lot to learn from the other amazing members of the committee.
Ellie is originally from the south west of England where she started her veterinary nursing career in 2001. She qualified with a diploma in veterinary nursing from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2004 and worked in a busy first opinion practice as head nurse. She has always had a passion for travel and has volunteered and worked with a wide range of species in Africa, Namibia and Australia.
Travel brought Ellie to New Zealand in 2009 which she now calls home. She has worked in two small animal practices in New Zealand and also in a canine hydrotherapy centre. For two years she also taught the veterinary nursing qualification to students and has been working with Dr Debbie Simpson at The Skin Vet since it opened in 2016.
Ellie continues to keep up to date with new innovative ways to improve the profession, always interested and excited about new research that is coming out as she increases her knowledge of dermatology which she uses both in her work and when presenting talks to vets and nurses. She is always keen to be involved with, promote and encourage CPD courses and talks for nurses.
She has a keen interest in animal behaviour and is passionate in promoting low stress and fear free handling within the veterinary profession.
In 2018 Ellie won the prestigious title of the Hills “Veterinary Nurse of the Year” Award and is looking forward to being on the executive committee and promoting this honourable title and making veterinary nurses know what an amazing a job they do and giving them the recognition they deserve.
In her spare time Ellie is a fitness fanatic, who enjoys trail walks and mountain biking and is a qualified as a personal trainer. She shares her home with her partner and their recue cat Blossom.
Antoinette graduated from Otago Polytechnic with a Certificate in Veterinary Nursing, with the Award of Excellence in 2007. She has worked at clinics in Wellington, Auckland and the Wairarapa in both companion and mixed animal practices. In 2015 she became the editor of The New Zealand Veterinary Nurse journal. During this time she has built a team of proof readers and regular contributors, along with redesigning the layout, but her favourite part of the editing process is helping new authors publish their first articles and watching their writing careers develop. In 2020, Antoinette left veterinary nursing to pursue a career as a full-time taxidermist in Wellington where she works on pieces for taxidermy stores, commissions, restoring pieces for private taxidermy art collectors, creating work for exhibitions, and teaching private tuition students in her studio. In 2021 she gave a TEDx talk about ethical taxidermy in New Zealand. In her spare time she enjoys sleeping in with her cat Cece and spending time with other artists in their studios.
Sam first undertook the role of Administrator for NZVNA in May 2021, returning to the role in May 2022, after a brief break to welcome her second child. Sam graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor or Business majoring in Marketing. Sam enjoys living in Waihi, close to both bush and beach, with her husband Ben, children Georgia (4) and Heath (10 months), and fur babies Alfie and Betty.
The NZVNA has granted Honorary Membership to the following people in recognition of their contributions to the association:
NZVNA is a membership organization and everything that the NZVNA Executive Committee does is to promote and support our members.
This includes sourcing Member Benefits
Representing veterinary nurses in Aotearoa New Zealand Partnerships
Members Support: Samantha Chapman firstname.lastname@example.org
Website Support: Samantha Chapman email@example.com
Member Benefits: Amy Ross firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing Professional Development
While all of our full members hold formal qualifications in veterinary nursing or technology, our career is science based and it is continually advancing. Because of this, we encourage all of our members to under-take continuing professional development (CPD) to ensure that they are able to provide best practice veterinary nursing care to their patients.
The CPD committee organizes an annual conference and sources other CPD opportunities for our members.
They also scrutinize and accredit CPD to ensure that it reaches quality and integrity so that our members are able to use it for their registration.
Veterinary nurses often progress in their career to senior veterinary nurses and practice managers. This portfolio also supports their career advancement with the broad range of CPD opportunities that they source.
CPD Committee Lead: email@example.com
Committee: Steph Mann
Conference Committee Lead: Anna McConnell
Committee: Steph Mann
CPD Committee also assist where required
We engage with our members over various communications to keep them up to date with what is happening within the wider veterinary community.
This includes our members only journal - the New Zealand Veterinary Nurse (NZVNJ), emails directly to our members, and social media - Instagram and Facebook, which includes eight support groups.
If you would like to contribute to the New Zealand Veterinary Nurse Journal please contact Antoinette.
NZVNJ Editor: Antoinette Ratcliff firstname.lastname@example.org
Antoinette is supported by volunteers within the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Community that assist with editing and sourcing articles.
Social Media Lead: Yani Riley email@example.com
Committee: Amy Ross
Emails: Samantha Chapman firstname.lastname@example.org
The NZVNA Executive Committee sit on a wide range of national and international boards, trusts, committees and working groups to advocate for our members. By sitting on these boards, we are able to give a collective voice and advocate for the veterinary nursing profession.
We are the voice of veterinary nurses in Aotearoa New Zealand and we work together to make positive changes for all Allied Veterinary Professionals.
Companion Animals New Zealand
Lead: Amy Ross email@example.com
World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA)
Lead: Amy Ross firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee: Wendy Jarnet & Anna McConnell
Healthy Pets New Zealand
Lead: Laura Harvey email@example.com
International Veterinary Nurses and Technicians Association (IVNTA)
Lead: Anna McConnell firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterinary Futures Aotearoa
Wellbeing Initiative Group: Steph Mann
Language Working Group: Laura Harvey email@example.com
Steering Group: Amy Ross firstname.lastname@example.org
Workforce Dynamics: Amy Ross email@example.com
Business Sustainability: Currently no representation
New Zealand Veterinary Association and Vet Council New Zealand
Lead: Amy Ross firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2014 the NZVNA Executive Committee created a regulation working committee tasked with initiating the move toward professional regulation of veterinary nurses. This working committee was given autonomy for operative governance within the NZVNA constitution to ensure minimal conflict of interest between the representative and regulatory branches of the organisation.
Without the support of the Veterinary Industry, the NZVNA would not be able to provide our members with the many benefits that we are able to offer.
We are thankful for their ongoing support of NZVNA and our members.
Committee Lead: Luanne Corles email@example.com
Committee: Amy Ross
This portfolio ensures that NZVNA operates with financial security and sustainability to meet the needs of the allied veterinary professional community in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This portfolio provides clarity on operational structure, and adherence to the constitution and oversees the expenditure on projects.
It also develops position statements on issues that impact the veterinary nursing profession and the wider veterinary community in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Portfolio Lead: Amy Ross, President firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee: Laura Harvey, Vice President
Lauren Gliddon, Treasurer
Anna McConnel, Secretary
All members of the NZVNA Executive Committee give input into matters arising from this portfolio.