Our people


Maria Yanez

Maria has been part of the Vetora team for 5 years and counting. Originally from Mexico City, she graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and in 2016 she completed her Master of Veterinary Medicine in Companion Animal Surgery at Massey University. Before joining the team she spent some time volunteering as a vet in Mexico, Cook Islands and NZ.

Maria’s area of interest is feline medicine, she is 100% a cat lover. She has two rescued cats Moussey and Luna. Outside of work Maria enjoys spending time with her family, a good movie, and recently started to do Tae Kwon Do. In the future she would like to learn more about other cultures and become fluent in French.

Maria is updating herself everyday, so she can carry on looking after your beloved pets by providing exceptional care.

Laura Gallagher

Laura graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2000 and comes to us with 20 years of small animal veterinary experience. She describes herself as a true general practitioner who particularly enjoys getting to know her clients and the patients under her care. She enjoys all aspects of small animal vet work, especially soft tissue surgery.

Laura has recently moved to Rotorua from Wellington, mostly for the bike riding and outdoor lifestyle. A keen road cyclist, she is hoping to improve her mountain biking skills! At home she has a son about to start intermediate school and a sweet little silver tabby cat called Thunder. She looks forward to meeting you and your pets.

Linka Van Heerden

Linka grew up in South Africa, in a town close to Cape Town. After school she took a gap year during which she worked on a wine estate and travelled around Europe. Linka graduated in 2017 from the University of Pretoria. In South Africa graduates must do a Compulsory Community Service (CCS) year after completing their studies. Linka did hers in Kimberley where she worked with a wide range of animals (including wildlife, exotics, farm, and companion animals).

Linka always wanted to work abroad to expand her skill set while having the opportunity to travel and really experience life in another country. Being able to work and live in New Zealand is a dream come true for Linka. After arriving in New Zealand, she worked in Paeroa as a mixed animal vet as well as Tauranga as a small animal vet, before moving to Rotorua.

In her spare time, you will find her travelling and exploring new places. Linka really enjoys being outdoors (and adventurous), hiking, running, taking photos and spending time with family and friends.

Dani Herrmann

Dani has joined our team as a new graduate. Originally from Zimbabwe Dani grew up just outside Hamilton on a small lifestyle block, with a classic menagerie of animals. She loves getting out and exploring in her spare time, and enjoys sailing, skiing and playing netball. She has also recently started watercolour painting which she has found to be a great creative outlet!

Dani is really looking forward to meeting you and caring for your animals this year.

Veterinary Nurses

Kate Richards

I have been a part of the Vetora family for going on 2 years now. I previously worked in a boarding kennel and cattery while I studied and the one thing that I have always enjoyed is seeing the many different personalities of all the fur babies that come through the doors.

I have a passion for the weird and wonderful things, from odd things found on/in and around a patient to the many exotic patients that come through our doors, no two days are the same and that’s what makes things so enjoyable.

One of the things that I really enjoy about nursing is being able to get to know patients and their owners especially those who we come to know, love and form a bond with, this makes things even more meaningful when in the unlucky circumstance where we are left to nurse the beloved friend back to health.

In my spare time I enjoy getting out and about going for walks/hikes or anything outdoors, baking, cake decorating, painting and spending time with my family.

Paulette White

Hi I’m Paulette.

I’ve been nursing for roughly 24 years. I spent about 6 years in the UK working and travelling.

I returned in 2007 where I settled down bought a house and started working at Vetora which was known as “The Vet Club” back then.

I’m married and we have 2 furbabies Ella and Tiggy. They rule the house and give us lots of laughs!

When I’m not working I enjoy getting out and about with my husband, going to the beach and fishing. I also love working away on jigsaw puzzles, keeping the house tidy and gardening.

Lisette Duijnmayer

My name is Lisette and I’m a proud registered Vet Nurse. I love this profession because I get to work with animals every day. The most rewarding part of this job is helping the sick and injured animals recover. 

I have a cat of my own called Sweetie who lives with my mum, as she’s happiest on a large property with lots of space to explore. Fostering animals is a big passion of mine and I will continue to do so once I get a house of my own.

Selina Sun

I have a specific interest in the low-stress handling of cats, together with a huge passion for feline medicine, behaviour and ECC nursing.  After I have gained the ISFM advanced certificate in feline behaviour, I will be looking to complete the feline Nursing Diploma. 

I am a native Mandarin speaker, please feel free to ask for me if you need any help. 

Tayla Vanner

Hey my name is Tayla! I’m 19 and currently working as a Vet Nursing Assistant here at Vetora Rotorua. I am currently studying towards becoming a qualified Vet Nurse. 

Ever since I was little, I always knew that when I grew up I wanted to work with and around animals. I wanted to be their voice and help them when they couldn’t help themselves. I love my job and wouldn’t change it for anything. I love what I do and who I do it with. 

I have a cat named Pixie and an 11 month old puppy called Pipi. They’re my two babies!

Grace Elliott

Hello! My name is Grace and I’m currently a Vet Nurse Assistant studying to become a Diploma Vet Nurse! One of my favourite things about Vet Nursing so far is having the ability to make the animals feel comfortable and safe while having the necessary health care. 

Visiting the Vet doesn’t need to be a scary thing so I absolutely love caring for them and loving them as my own. Creating that bond with all our amazing patients goes a long way in making a visit to the vets a better experience.  

In my free time, I love being with my own fur babies and spending time with my family and friends.