Our Staff

Brett Finlayson


I was born and raised on a farm in Maungataroto, Northland. That is where my love for animals stems from. I went to secondary school at St. Kents in Auckland and had a year as an AFS student in the USA in 1972 (doesn’t seem that long ago!). After graduating from Massey University in 1978, I spent a year in mixed practice in Matamata before going overseas for a year doing locum work. On returning to NZ I worked for Ivan Fuyala at Red Beach for 3 years before shifting to the Waikato for almost 20 years working in mixed practices. The love of overseas travel reared its head again so Jenni and I took our family to Jersey in the Channel Islands off the coast of France for three years.

In 2004 we purchased the Orewa Veterinary Centre from Ivan Fuyala. We absolutely love living and working on the Hibiscus Coast and are here for the long haul! My partner in business and life is my wife Jenni, who is a real estate agent in Orewa. Jenni used to regularly take our Labrador Elle to visit local retirement homes to brighten up the residents through contact with animals. She worked under a program called Outreach Therapy which we strongly believe in. Unfortunately Elle has passed on now. 

We have three children, Cameron, Leah and Gabrielle who are all well on their way to doing their own thing now. We have a Miniature Schnauzer called Phoebe and a Maine Coon cat called Stella, they are real characters! I love my work, I enjoy the bond that exists between pet owners and their “best friends”. It is very satisfying to provide a one-stop shop for the care of our patients, from the initial consultation to lab tests (most can be done at the clinic), radiographs, surgery, medical treatment and nutritional advice.



Hi I am Toni and I am originally from Wales in the UK. 
My dream job as a child was to be a Vet, so I am thankful everyday that I was able to fulfil my childhood dream. 
I graduated from Edinburgh Vet School in Scotland in 2006 and have been living in New Zealand for almost 15 years now.
I am passionate about all aspects of Veterinary Medicine and surgery, but I have a particular interest in senior and geriatric medicine, providing comfort for animals in their golden years. I also have a passion for dentistry.
Having a holistic approach and looking at the whole picture is important to me and offering alternative options when needed. 
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children doing conservation work on our rural property. 



I was fortunate to know that I wanted to be a vet from the age of seven. I graduated from Massey University and spent 2 ½ years in a 9 vet rural practice in the Bay of Plenty before spending the next 5 years travelling overseas and working in the U.K.

On my return to N.Z. I actually did a brief locum at the Orewa clinic back when Ivan Fuyala was the owner.  I live in Puhoi with my wife and three children with the usual dogs and cats and most recently some Muscovy ducks. My largest passion outside of veterinary work is sailing.

I enjoy all aspects of veterinary work but especially like surgery and internal medicine.  I am passionate about providing a high quality, caring service and working with the owners to best help our patients.

Sarah Rusin

Hi I’m Sarah, I’ve recently arrived from the UK and loving it here. 
I have wanted to visit NZ for a long time so I’m enjoying exploring the beautiful outdoors in my spare time. I love paddle boarding and am learning to surf, so I think I have come to the right place!
I am originally from the north east of Scotland and I graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2016. I had been working in small animal practice in the south coast of England in Dorset for the past 5 years.
I am looking forward to meeting all my new clients and their wonderful pets.



I have been working at Orewa Vet Hospital since 2011. Brett and the team helped me while I did my studies by distance learning through Otago Polytechnic as I was working full time. I graduated in 2013 and am now a qualified vet nurse. I still thoroughly enjoy learning new things, upskilling and meeting new people.

I have been doing puppy classes at Orewa since 2010 and love every minute of it! I adore getting to see the pups grow up and become very much loved members of the family.

I grew up with all sorts of animals in the house thanks to my Mum’s love of all creatures big and small, which she has passed on to me.

From dogs, cats, mice, rats, birds, possums, goats, horses, lambs and more! I have lived in the Hibiscus Coast area since I was nine, but I now live in Warkworth with my husband, our daughters and two furbabies.

I love forming bonds with our clients and just can’t help but gush when dogs are excited to see me or cats just love that I know where to give them a good smooch. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you and your furry family members!



I was born and raised on Auckland’s North Shore and knew for a while that I wanted to become a veterinary nurse. The inner animal lover in me was fueled as a teen when my parents took over running a cattery in Greenhithe when I was 15 years old and I have been looking after animals ever since.

I graduated as a veterinary nurse from Auckland’s Unitec in Mt Albert in 2015 before going on to spend 9 months as a full-time manager of the cattery I spent my teen years working at. I went travelling in 2016 before landing a full-time role at a different clinic in 2017.

I got offered my place at Orewa, Millwater and Manly Vets in May 2018 and I have never looked back. Other staff members are so warm and welcoming to each other and to all our clients.

My interest is mainly in cats and I have experience in dealing with all types of cats, both happy and grumpy. There is no cat I am afraid to handle.

I work mostly at our Millwater clinic and enjoy getting to know both you and your pets.



I am originally from Japan and I came to New Zealand in 2005 as a working holiday maker to pursue my dream by experiencing “Farm Stay”. After that, I have been living in New Zealand ever since.

I grew up with several kinds of animals, but I had never owned a cat. I wanted to know more about cats, so I then applied for a cattery job where I could learn lots about cats’ behaviour. I really enjoyed working with animals so my husband encouraged me to study veterinary nursing. I obtained a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing from Unitec in 2017.

When I have my days off, I usually enjoy walking, day-tripping and playing tennis with our 3 children.

In the photo you can see our family cat “Lena” who we have adopted since 2019. We are very pleased that she’s becoming more cuddly and enjoying human company. We also have two “indoor” guinea pigs who are very smart. As soon as we open the fridge, they will always make a squeaky noise to beg for more veges!

I look forward to meeting you and your family members and provide support for your pets.



I graduated veterinary nursing in 2020 and spent the last two years working in a busy gp clinic on the shore. I was then lucky enough to get the opportunity to work with the fantastic team in Orewa! Their passion for their patients and their staff is amazing and they made me feel right at home!

My free time is usually taken up by my furbabies. I have two dobermans, a cat and two horses. I have a particular interest in canine behaviour and can’t wait to further my knowledge and my skills whilst working in a supportive clinic environment!
You may see my face between our branches in Orewa, Millwater and Manly. I look forward to meeting more of our wonderful clients.


OREWA Receptionist

I started working at Orewa Vets in Jan 2022.

I am new to the veterinary industry, although, I have been an animal lover all my life and used to volunteer at Whāngarei SPCA as a kid, so there’s always been an interest.

I can honestly say, it’s such a rewarding job and workplace. I am learning so much and loving it more each day.

I’m so excited to further my training and career here.
I grew up on the North Shore, and for the last 6/7 years have lived out on the peninsula in Whangaparāoa with my 3 sons and our dog Surf who we adopted through Saving Hope Foundation.

We love the beach, sports, boating, fishing, diving, and everything else the coast has to offer.

I look forward to meeting and forming bonds with you and your fur babies.



I graduated with a Bachelors in Veterinary Nursing in 2022. I am so lucky to have been able to join this incredible team who have been helping and supporting me on my journey. I am a Coastie born and raised but have also lived in Scotland and the USA where I worked at Disney World and at a summer camp as a horse-riding instructor. I have always had a big passion for animals and have wanted to be a vet nurse since I was a little girl. I’ve grown up with a variety of animals including rabbits, birds, and fish. I now have a little 9-year-old fluffy white dog called Charlie. I can’t wait to meet you and your fur babies.



I have always had a strong desire to work with animals and have been working as a veterinary nurse for over ten years after completing my diploma at Unitec. I am currently working part-time and am really enjoying being part of the team at Orewa. My interests are in the nursing care of long-term medical illnesses, animal behavior, and fear-free handling and treatment. My husband and I have a family of three daughters, one dog, and three cats living in Puhoi.

Gill Blackburne

My name is Gill. I am Irish and have recently moved to NZ. I live on a dairy farm back home. I love all animals large and small.
I graduated from the University college of Dublin in 2021. After working for a year in the south of Ireland I decided I wanted to try Veterinary medicine abroad.
I always liked the idea of traveling to NZ so moving here was an easy decision.
I look forward to getting to know all the kiwi pets and people while I am here.