Supported by the New Zealand Veterinary Association, our team of veterinary professionals cares deeply about the health and welfare of Kiwi pets. We volunteer our time so they can live longer, healthier and happier lives.
Cath Watson - Chair
Cath has been working as a companion animal clinical veterinarian since 2000. She has worked in a range of practices, both in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom. Based in Invercargill for the past 12 years, she has been actively involved in owning and running a mixed animal practice, and understands both the clinical context and financial challenges faced by pet owners. She serves on the Board of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, has been President of its Companion Animal Branch for three years, and has been an association Southland regional representative for the past 10 years. Cath has a passion for anything in the outdoors, and loves exploring New Zealand's back-country haunts. She shares her home with her husband and Willow, a food-obsessed, lap-loving elderly cat.
Prof. Boyd Jones ONZM, BVSc, FACVSc, DECVIM
Boyd graduated from Massey University and after working in mixed practice taught at the University of Melbourne until 1975. He returned to Massey University where he became Associate Professor and the Head of the Small Animal Clinic and Hospital. In 1997 Boyd accepted the Chair in Small Animal Clinical Studies at University College Dublin, Ireland. He was Dean of the Faculty at University College Dublin from 2002-2007. Boyd is a Fellow of the Australian College and Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and a European Specialist in Small Animal Medicine. Today he is an Emeritus professor of companion animal medicine at both Massey University and University College Dublin. He has participated in veterinary continuing education programmes and post-graduate education and research worldwide. He is a member of editorial boards of a number of veterinary journals, including the New Zealand Veterinary Journal and acts as a specialist referee. His research interests are in small animal internal medicine and he has published more than 180 refereed papers on aspects of canine and feline medicine.
Prof. John Munday BVSc, PhD, Diplomate ACVP
John's first veterinary job was in Whangarei, but an interest in research lured him back to Massey after a couple of years of clinical practice. After completing a PhD looking at the role of alcohol and antioxidants in the prevention of heart disease in people he decided to explore his interest in understanding how diseases develop. To learn more he completed a two-year pathology residency at Michigan State University. After becoming a member of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists John took up a role as a diagnostic pathologist at the University of Georgia where he spent his time investigating skin diseases and tumours in companion animals. After four years he decided to return home and has been at the pathology department at Massey University since. His main research interest is investigating causes of cancer in animals and trying to more accurately predict cancer behaviour. John enjoys the teaching component of his job and says coming back to New Zealand was the best decision of hislife, "as here I met my wonderful partner with whom I now have two young children." In his free time John enjoys mountain biking and taking his dog on long walks.
Laura joined the veterinary nursing industry in 2008, having graduated from Unitec with a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. Her veterinary nursing career has been a varied one. She started off working in a couple of small animal practices in Auckland before heading off on a 12 month OE to the UK. She worked in a variety of practices around England, including four months at the RSPCA, before returning to New Zealand to manage a veterinary clinic in Auckland, a role she thoroughly enjoyed. In 2013 her career focus changed with the opportunity to follow a dream and start teaching veterinary nursing. She is currently a lecturer in Applied Animal Health at Unitec Institute of Technology, which is one of the primary veterinary nursing education providers in New Zealand. Teaching has become her passion, and after having completed a BSc and PG Cert in Veterinary Education, she is working towards an MSc, and has begun research into the veterinary nursing profession, which includes looking into the role of the veterinary nurse in modern practice. She is a member of the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association executive committee, and the South Pacific Animal Welfare board. She spends most of her spare time either in dance class or at dance competitions. She thoroughly enjoys ceroc dancing, which she says is not her forte but helps to keep her fit, and gives her the opportunity to meet lots of interesting people.
Simon Clarke, BVSc
Simon graduated from Massey University with a BVSc in 2001. After a few years in clinical practice in Auckland he applied to the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program and was placed on a rotating internship at the Animal Specialty Group in Los Angeles. He then worked in general practice and emergency hospitals in Las Vegas before returning to Palmerston North to complete a Master of Veterinary Medicine. In 2016, after 14 years in companion animal clinical practice, Simon moved to industry to work for Virbac as a Technical Product Manager. Soon after starting at Virbac, Simon joined the New Zealand Veterinary Association Companion Animal Veterinarians Special Interest Branch executive, the Waikato Regional Branch committee, and became a Healthy Pets New Zealand trustee. For each of these entities he is now also the treasurer. Simon is passionate about animal welfare, good public education and evidence-based medicine. He lives in Hamilton with one cat, enjoys running and hiking, and the occasional triathlon.
Mike Eng - Communications Manager
Mike is an experienced communications and advocacy practitioner who has been fond of companion animals for as long as he can remember. He shares a house with Bugatti, a six-year-old Mandalay cat. Bug, as he's usually referred to, enjoys sleeping for long stretches in the sun and is adept at finding the warmest spot in the house by any means necessary (this includes opening doors!)