Congratulations to the 2018 NZVA award winners – Outstanding Service Award winner Pieter Verhoek and Young Veterinarian of the Year Ash Keown.

Outstanding Service Award 2018 ? Pieter Verhoek

Dr Pieter Verhoek, a companion animal veterinarian from Wanganui, is celebrated for his tireless work for the veterinary profession, the NZVA, and companion animal welfare.

Since beginning his career at Wanganui Veterinary Services in 1981, Dr Verhoek has held roles of partner, co-manager, and is currently an associate senior veterinarian. Alongside this vital work he has provided long and valued service to the NZVA over a seventeen year period.

His contribution has included not only serving on Companion Animal Veterinarians (CAV) Committee , but also on the Veterinary Professional Insurance Society and NZVA Boards, sitting on the Audit and Risk Committee and chairing the Education Committee.

Dr Verhoek has used his vision for the profession to achieve great benefits in companion animal health and welfare. He was instrumental in setting up the Companion Animal Health Foundation (CAHF) giving a research arm to the CAV Committee that has been used to fund research that benefits the health and welfare of companion animals in New Zealand.

Dr Verhoek was key in establishing the New Zealand Companion Animal Register, which continues to provide an excellent service to New Zealand pet owners as the only microchip register in New Zealand.

Dr Verhoek was a driver in winning the bid to host the World Small Animal Congress held in 2013. Chairing the local organising committee for this event. The scale of this international conference demanded many, many hours of voluntary work to ensure success.

Dr Verhoek is also a NZVA representative to the New Zealand Companion Animal Council and the National Cat Management Strategy Group. He is a Trustee for the New Zealand Companion Animal Trust and has served on the executive and as President for the Federation of Asian Small Animal Veterinary Associations.

Above all, Dr Verhoek is recognised for his generous support to other veterinarians. He has helped to set up almost every continuing education programme that CAV has run while he was a member of the committee. This contribution to continuing education continued when he was Chair of the NZVA Education Committee and as the Veterinary Council of New Zealand?s appointee as an Auditor of continuing professional development for veterinarians.

The veterinary profession has benefited greatly from Dr Verhoek?s long and dedicated service to the Association.

His legacy, while ongoing, is one of generosity, commitment and dedication. He is recognised for the immense positive impact he has made in animal, human and public health, veterinary organisations, and the profession.


Young Veterinarian Award 2018 ? Ash Keown

While his career has only just begun, Ash Keown of Vetora Te Awamutu has given a great deal to the veterinary profession. He is acknowledged with the NZVA 2018 young practitioner of the year award for his generosity, spirit, and commitment to the profession.

Ash graduated with a BVSc from Massey University in 2016 already working with the Vetora team as a dairy veterinarian. He is known for his sense of adventure and can-do attitude that inspires colleagues and employers alike.

Ash is described as an excellent clinical veterinarian with a can do attitude who is popular with the farmers, owners and all the veterinary clinic staff. He has also become the ?go to? person for the Vetora in-house laboratory, and confidently makes diagnoses from mastitis samples and blood smears.

Ash shows incredible initiative and passion for the veterinary profession. He joined the Waikato Regional Branch Committee in November 2016 playing an important part in revitalising the branch. The committee is made up of ten Waikato veterinarians from different areas of practice, Ministry for Primary Industries veterinarians and industry. Ash volunteered to be the Treasurer. He has taken to this role with great enthusiasm, supporting an important branch that is much-needed in the region.

Ash is known for his enthusiasm and for being a hard-working, reliable and trustworthy person.

His genuine interest in, and commitment to, the New Zealand veterinary profession coupled with his outstanding public speaking skills make him a potential future leader.

His contributions to the profession and his colleagues already mark him as an excellent asset to our growing profession.