Cows are great, agoutis too: new vet

The new vet


Meet Tori Turner, the new(ish) vet at Global Veterinary  Services in Gordonton. 

What do you like about Gordonton?
I like that Gordonton is close to all the amenities of Hamilton but that it is rural enough to not feel like you’re near a city. The downtown village is nice and I’m looking forward to the opening of the new highway so the traffic isn’t so crazy!

Have you tried some of the local cafes, food, etc. Visited the Alpaca Farm? Woodlands?
I haven’t had the chance to do a lot of exploring unfortunately, but I have been to a couple of cafes (Willow glen, The Firepot) and I’m a regular at the bakery! Both of the cafes I’ve been two are amazing and I’m keen to try out more.

Where is home? Where are you from originally? How do you find yourself here in lovely Gordonton?
Home for me is the beautiful Taranaki (born and bred) – I miss working under the mountain a lot, but I don’t miss the wind. The stillness and humidity here has blown my mind, and the fog is crazy! It’s very different to home but I’m enjoying the weather so far but miss being near the sea. I decided to come to Gordonton in the pursuit of a more varied job with more exotics opportunity nearer a larger city, without working in one! (I’m a rural boy at heart).

What’s your background?
I’m one of the few Kiwi vets around – we seem to be rare sometimes!  Prior to vet school I did a one-year student exchange in Costa Rica, Central America. I had the most amazing experience amongst some of the most rich flora and fauna in the world. The number of exotic animals I encountered was just out of this world. Following vet school in Palmerston North, I worked in South Taranaki for 3.5 years as a mixed, predominantly dairy veterinarian. I miss my work colleagues a lot and have tried several times to convince them to come on up here!

What do you like about veterinary work?
I love soft tissue surgery – stitch ups, lump removals, gut surgery; all of that sort of stuff is great and I’ve had plenty to do since I’ve started here. I also love my large animal outdoor time driving around the countryside and talking to new people. And of course playing with weird and wonderful exotic animals is great.



Can you tell us what it’s like being a zoo vet?
Working at the zoo has been a great experience – the keepers are so passionate about caring for these animals. I’ve worked with a lot of birds, lemurs, monkeys, and agouti there, but there’s always something new happening each day. Have had the delight of working with giraffe, rhino and chimpanzee too.

Small animals or large animals? Cats or dogs? Do you have pets of your own?

Largies are my fave – cows are great to working with. But if I was going to choose out of cats or dogs, it would be dogs. I’m more of a weird and wonderful pet owner – anything without fur practically. I’ve owned everything under the sun growing up but the only pets I have at the moment are Chinese and Japenese Fire-bellied newts, and a few fish… oh and about 200 plants! If I had a block of land I’d love  some farm animals!

Any advice to a young vet/student vet?
Follow your passion! Anyone is capable of anything if they want to do it bad enough, and it makes the journey a lot more enjoyable.

How are you finding the team at Global?

I love my little team at Global. Due to covid and the nature/variety of this job we often work alone or barely see each other which is a bummer but we have regular social gatherings which is great.

What are some of your other interests?
I’m obsessed with languages/culture – prior to covid I did quite a bit of travel around third world countries eating as much different food as possible, picking up new words in their language and visiting some of the most beautiful places on this earth. I’ve been learning Te Reo Maori for years and hope to continue my studies this year. I also love hiking, snowboarding, swimming, running, gym and social netball.

  • Global Veterinary Services, 878A Gordonton Rd, ph 07 210 4562
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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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