Seventy-five years of rich veterinary history has been celebrated, including the launch of an historic book.

The Vetora Club celebrated 75 years of service to the Rotorua district recently at the Holiday Inn.

There were 220 guests attending with a mix of invited guests, customers of the club, current and former staff, including veterinarians, board members and past and present club chairs, all who share a special connection with the club.

Informal drinks and a mix and mingle was followed by dinner, speeches and the launch of the 75th Jubilee celebration book, titled Celebrating the History of the Rotorua District Veterinary Club.


Vetora, which is a combination of 'Vet' and 'Ora', meaning 'Land' in Latin and 'Health and Wellbeing' in te reo Māori, is a not-for-profit farmer-owned vet club with all profits made going back into the business to benefit members.

This allows Vetora to support their clients rather than having a money-making focus.

The Rotorua District Veterinary Club was established back in 1944.

"The Vet Clubs were established all around the country with over 65 at its peak but now only 11 remain," Chief executive Craig Kusabs says.

"The Rotorua District Vet Club was established to bring vets from Britain to help the development of farm land in the Central Plateau for the returned serviceman after World War II."

"We are celebrating 75 years of service to the community with the launch of a lovely historical book for the occasion."

This rich history is captured within the pages of the 75th Jubilee book, which is a reflection of the history, developments, challenges and growth of the Vetora Club in the Rotorua and surrounding areas.

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With two Vetora locations in Rotorua, one in Ngongotahā, one central and another two in Reporoa and Taupō, the Vetora Club has been large animal specialists for many farmers in the Rotorua and South Waikato region.

Kevin J Lyall is the author of the book. With a myriad of contributors, the first-hand accounts in the book provide readers with background information, stories and photographs to document the memories of the Rotorua Vetora Club from the past 75 years.

One attendee, Ian Hay from the Ian Hay Family Trust, said his father had been a customer since 1951 and mentioned how hard it used to be to even get hold of a vet.

Club members would have to use an old wind-up telephone and often have to ring many neighbouring farmers to try and track down the vet on duty, he says.

Karen Forlong, current club chairwoman, mentions in the book that, "the huge heart and passion that drives those who populate the pages of this book has been hard to truly capture, perhaps especially those of the early years".

The Vetora Club currently has 256 members with about 15 Māori trusts also belonging to the club.