Our team of experienced veterinarians, veterinary nurses and support staff are as passionate about your animals as you are. We pride ourselves on our professional approach to their health care and are committed to continuing education so we can offer you and your pet the very best treatments, whether it’s on the farm, lifestyle block or in one of our clinics.

Tauranga Vets Team

David McDonnell

David McDonnell is Managing Director of Tauranga Veterinary Services Ltd. A practising veterinarian, David has a farming background in the South Waikato and practised there for many years, gaining a post-graduate qualification in Dairy Cattle Medicine.

Since then, David has embarked on a veterinary management career after gaining a post-graduate qualification in Business Studies endorsed in accounting. He was based in Te Awamutu as a veterinary manager for a large practice before joining a pharmaceutical company in Tauranga as a business unit manager, providing technical and marketing support.

David and his family, including Michelle, a well-known local landscape designer, and their children Christopher, Timothy and Emma, all call Tauranga their home. They spend their leisure time with friends and family in the Bay of Plenty and enjoy having the Mount and Pacific Ocean as a stunning backdrop to their activities.

David McDonnell

Kate Heller

Kate Heller

Kate is one of our veterinarians who works predominantly in our Cameron Road clinic.

She graduated from Massey University at the end of 2007 and started practising in mid-Canterbury before heading over to the UK for two years to work as a locum vet and travel around Europe. She was employed by Tauranga Vets as a mixed practitioner after returning home in 2012.

Outside of work, Kate spends most of her time in the outdoors, training for and competing in multisport events and enjoys kayaking, cycling and running. At home, she has one playful and smoochy cat, “Leo” the lion, whom she adopted after he was brought into one of our clinics as a starving stray.

Kate enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine but has developed a particular interest in tricky eye cases, ultra-sonography and small animal internal medicine. She strives to provide the best possible care for your pets and treats them as if they were her own.

Tony Austwick

Tony completed his veterinary degree at Massey University and graduated in 1995.

He settled in Tauranga to work as a mixed practice vet. Over the years, he has worked mostly with companion animals but he still enjoys getting out on the farm to support the practice’s farming and lifestyle clients.

His veterinary interests include medicine, surgery – both general and orthopaedic – and dermatology.

Tony lives on a small lifestyle property with his wife, four daughters, five cats, one dog, two rabbits, three parrots, sheep, 6 budgies, a range of ducks and chickens and numerous tropical fish.

Tony Austwick

Marcus Allan


Marcus has worked broadly in the field of Equine Veterinarian Medicine and following his studies at Massey University completed post graduate certificates of proficiency in both equine diagnostic imaging and lameness.

Marcus joined the Tauranga Veterinary Services team in 2011 and during this time completed a secondment to Matamata Equine Vet Services, who specialise in Equine Health Management.

Marcus is passionate about general equine medicine, investigating and managing poor performance, assisting to improve horse health and promoting high standards of horse welfare, as well as meeting the needs of his equine clients.

Sonia McCaw

Sonia joined Tauranga Veterinary Services Ltd in 2015, having achieved a BVSc (Dist) at Massey University in 1998.  Since graduating, Sonia has gained experience in both New Zealand and the UK where she managed a successful practice for the prominent Veterinarian group, Medivet.

Sonia has a special interest in ultrasound and soft tissue surgery, and takes every opportunity to fine tune her expertise in these areas. Sonia loves the fact that ultrasound provides a non invasive window into the body, providing a vital tool for accurate diagnosis, treatment and management of disease.  Sonia enjoys the challenge of soft tissue surgery and also investigating and treating complex medical cases.

Sonia is married with two lovely children, and Louie, the snuggliest pussy cat in the land. They enjoy spending time as a family and when Sonia’s not at work or with her family, she enjoys photography, and running.



Support Staff

  • Emma – Lead Administration Nurse
  • Jessica – Lead Clinical Nurse
  • Jaimee – Veterinary Nurse
  • Michelle – Veterinary Nurse
  • Sarah – Veterinary Nurse
  • Lauren – Veterinary Nurse
  • Karen – Accounts


Te Puna Vets Team

Phil Rennie

After graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc), from Massey University in Palmerston North, Phil spent the first part of his career gaining valuable clinical experience with both companion animals and livestock in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Diverse roles included being a vet investigator during the 2001 UK foot and mouth outbreak and as a sole charge clinician in a number of small animal clinics.

The following period of time he worked as a veterinary adviser for the multi-national pharmaceutical company Pfizer and kept up with clinical practice through regular locums and continuing education. This service with Pfizer culminated in him being the national technical lead for livestock and equine pharmaceuticals. During this time he gained membership with the ANZ College of Veterinary Scientists in Pharmacology and also trained as a Dairy NZ In Calf Adviser for advancing NZ dairy herd fertility.

Since returning to clinical practice in 2012 with Tauranga Vets, Phil has enjoyed his involvement with both companion and large animal patients primarily based out of the Tauranga and Te Puna branches.

Outside of work Phil enjoys time with family and friends, as well as keeping fit and relishing the great outdoors that the BoP coast and bush has to offer.

Phil Rennie

Katherine Hansen


Katherine joined Tauranga Vets in 2015, having moved from Auckland with her family.

She originally trained at Massey University in 2003 and has gone on to complete an Equine internship at Cambridge University in England.

Katherine has worked in mixed veterinary practices caring for horses and small animals in both New Zealand and England and she has a special interest in Dermatology (skin) conditions.

Katherine and her husband Paul live on a lifestyle block in Te Puna with their two small children Charlotte and Thomas, and a growing number of pets. Ruby is their “SPCA special” dog, as well as a couple of fluff ball cats which were bought into one of the clinics that Katherine was working at as stray kittens.


Support Staff

  • Erin – Nurse Leader
  • Sarah – Veterinary Nurse
  • Marie – Veterinary Nurse


Katikati Vets Team

Len Paki

Len Paki at Tauranga Veterinary Services Ltd

Len Paki completed his Veterinary degree at Massey University, graduating  in 1985.

He worked mainly as a mixed practice vet in Gisborne for 16 years before moving to the Waikato in 2001. Len worked in the Waikato until 2003 when he and his wife, Mandy, moved to the UK. In the UK, Len practised in a small Village for nearly 12 years, increasing his knowledge on cardiology, ultrasonography, and orthopaedics.

Deciding to return to NZ, Len and Mandy moved to the south of France, where they lived for 2 years, before making it back home in January of 2017.

Len’s interest is mainly Companion Animal medicine and surgery, although he still likes to keep in touch with the Farming side of things!

Outside of work Len enjoys reading and accompanying his wife on walks in the countryside. Len and Mandy are looking forward to exploring the Bay.

Support staff

  • Nikki – Nurse Leader
  • Courtney – Veterinary Nurse
  • Jesse – Veterinary Nurse


Papamoa Clinic Team

Anne Shilston

After graduating from Massey University in 1987, Anne headed to the UK where she worked in a companion animal practice and travelled. On returning to New Zealand, she worked at Manawatu Vets for three years before moving north to Thames Vet Services. She has called Tauranga home for the past 12 years and lives in Te Puna with Rob, their two daughters and a menagerie of animals. She had a break from vet work while her girls were young and during that time, pursued an interest in counselling.

Since joining the team at Tauranga Vets in 2012, she strives to provide the highest standard of care possible to people and their pets. Anne is based our our Papamoa Village Vets Clinic, with Nina and Stacey and Sam.

To relax, she enjoys going to the beach, movies, coffee with friends, spending time with family and experiencing many outdoor adventures.

Anne Shilston

Nina Smith


Nina was born and bred in Mount Maunganui. She commenced a BSc at Waikato University before transferring to Massey. Nina completed her BSc majoring in Biology in 1992, and then completed her BVSc in 1994. She was in the same class as Tony, another of our Vets.

After graduating, Nina spent a year at Kumeu Vets, before moving to Bedford, England where she spent 3 years working as a ‘permanent locum’ in a mixed animal veterinary practice.  Nina returned to NZ and worked with the small animal veterinary specialists at Onewa Road Vet Hospital (now Veterinary Specialist Group) in Auckland for 2.5 years, which was an absolute career highlight!  Nina then moved back to England for 4 years, where she helped with the Foot and Mouth outbreak briefly, before working in a small animal practice in the west midlands. She then returned permanently to the Bay of Plenty to start a family.

Nina is passionate about Small Animal Medicine and has more recently become very interested in Avian Medicine completing an Avian Vetscholar course.

Nina now lives in Papamoa with her husband Peter, and their two busy rascally boys, aged 7 and 10. They have recently bought 17 acres in Papamoa, where they have built a beautiful ‘off the grid’ house. They are looking forward to developing their our own ‘Old McDonalds Farm’!

Support staff

  • Stacey – Nurse Leader
  • Sarah – Veterinary Nurse