Business Profiles

Vet Services clinic makeovers continue on back of growth

2022 was a big year for Vet Services, with exceptional client growth, an increase in staff and significant investment revamping the small animals area at its longest established clinic in Waipukurau as well as opening a new super clinic for Napier.

Vet Services Central Hawke’s Bay clinic has had its biggest makeover in over 30 years, doubling the size of the small animal clinic as well as upgrading the staff room, meeting rooms along with a stunning external facelift. The Napier Clinic has gone a step further, relocating from a small clinic 50 metres from the to the new clinic to Napier’s latest large retail park, The Crossing.

To cap off 2022, Vet Services also took out two awards at the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Awards – the Excellence in Innovation category and the overall Supreme Business of the Year Award, which it had also won in 2012.

Vet Services General Manager Brendan James says the Napier move has been a long term coming and will now offer a much broader suite of services including an onsite production vet service for the rural community. He says there was a lot of luck involved in finding a new site so close, literally a stone’s throw away. Brendan was meeting with the company’s bank when the premises issue was raised and how hard it was to find a new site. Their bank representative promptly mentioned that they were acting for the developers of the proposed large retail park.

“That was such a fortuitous meeting as we had been really struggling to find a new site and we were pretty desperate. There had been fast growth in the clinic due to the increase in companion animals and we just had no room. The Napier clinic has super-sized from 200m2 to 660m2, enabling two surgeries, a larger retail offering, a high tech Xray offering, animal grooming, a laboratory and a meeting room. “We’ve had our staff working on top of each other for some time which was making it hard to deliver the service with the best possible experience.

“Our staff have been looking forward to this day for so long. A lot of thought has gone into the design of both clinics and the Napier clinic has a paint colour palate inspired by American clinics to create a calming influence for cats and dogs.

Brendan says 2022 was a big year across the business that has clinics in Napier, Hastings, Waipukurau, Dannevirke and Masterton and it’s unlikely to slow down with plans for a refit of the Hastings clinic and potentially a new after hour emergency clinic to cater for the wider veterinary community. CHB Clinic gets first major redevelopment in 30 years.

The CHB clinic redevelopment was led by the CHB Farmers Veterinary Club along with Caroline Robertson, who has worked as a vet in Waipukurau for over 30 years along with support from head nurse Jess Neilson. Caroline says the refit was inspired by Vet Services’ modern Dannevirke clinic, which was the “blueprint” along with staff input from visits to other vet clinics around the country.

However, she says the design brief was kept pretty simple,“technically it’s about getting the right flow … it’s a bit like a big kitchen and everything has to be in the right place. The project was more than four years in the making and was on the back of substantial client growth, which escalated over the COVID 19 years as more individuals, couples and families became pet parents. “Small animals are great company and during COVID a lot more people got companion animals and in Central Hawke’s Bay it was no different. Caroline and the team had a very clear idea of what needed to be achieved. “We had already outgrown space due to having a lot more specialist diagnosis equipment, let alone the increased popularity in pets, which has seen us have twice as many people working in that area.

Caroline says the biggest challenge was operating a 24/7 clinic while in construction mode. The project was to become known as a ‘clip on’ in that construction would take place on one side of the building while the other side remained operational and then swapping over. “We’re a 24 hour seven day a week business so there was a lot of planning needed to make sure we could continue to operate and it’s pleasing to look back and see that we achieved that.

The new small animal clinic now has more of everything! There’s a dedicated x-ray and ultrasound room, two surgeries, four consult rooms and a fully functioning laboratory. “There’s also plenty of triage space while the public will notice the cosmetic changes with the buildings external experience getting an overhaul.


About Vet Services

Vet Services was first formed as Central Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Veterinary Club in 1972 with a small clinic in Mt Herbert Road. Until then there was no professional Vet Practice in Central Hawke’s Bay, with the area serviced by a private practitioner based in Hastings and supported by a local chemist. In 1973 the club purchased the present property and it built a clinic that has been added to over time. Today, the business employs over 160 including 40 veterinarians across its five sites offering expert care for companion animals, equine and service farms with sheep, beef, dairy, and deer focusses.  In 2019 we launched an equine focused veterinary service (called VS Equine). The combined skills and knowledge of six equine veterinarians and three techs provide a comprehensive service for both the horse and our clients benefit.