About Dr. Liza
Growing up in South Africa, I loved learning about animals and their natural environment and have been so fortunate to have my father, an active conservationist, facilitate intimate and inspiring interactions with wildlife from a young age such as being so close up to a wild African elephant that I could counts its eyelashes, involvement with the rehabilitation of orphaned lion cubs, baby hippopotamuses and rhinoceros, witnessing breeding projects of endangered species and many more humbling experiences. I was privileged to enjoy so many fabulous animal encounters and as a child I had a number of pets including dogs, cats, snakes, a monkey, chameleons, a tortoise, goose, birds, gerbils, hamsters, mice and others and I knew from a very young age that when I grew up I was going to work with animals. Caring for so many animals, I felt very disempowered when they were sick and I didn’t know what to do to help them so I decided that first and foremost I needed to be a vet.
Following my childhood dream, I qualified as a vet and moved to New Zealand in 2000. I take great delight in my work and when I started practicing I couldn’t believe that I was getting paid to do what I love! Initially I spent a lot of time in small animal practice doing emergency work which I really enjoy as quick thinking and elegant action are often needed for a good outcome and I like a challenge. As time went by I found a growing dissatisfaction with some areas of veterinary practice as in many cases, the tools that I had learned about to help my patients were often just managing various disease conditions rather than getting to the root of the problem and a number of my patients became reliant on drugs that had side effects. Over the years, determined to do more for my patients, I have sought and applied complementary and natural therapies which are easy to learn, practical to apply and highly effective at assisting my patients to heal.
In 2003 I moved to Tauranga where I established Holistic Vets, the first of its kind in NZ, which integrates all the advantages of conventional medicine and surgery with complementary therapies combining the Best of Both Worlds to achieve excellent results for our patients and peace of mind for their owners . I built the business from a small mobile service functioning out of the boot of my car into a thriving and award winning veterinary clinic. We have digital x-ray, an in-house laboratory, hospital, surgery and a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, likely the 2nd of its kind dedicated to animal use in the southern hemisphere, not to mention our fabulous team who take great pride in providing quality care for our patients. To help educate and inspire vets about the benefits of complementary therapies, I also serve as the president on the NZ Vet Associations’ Complementary Veterinary Medicine Branch.
As a product of my passion for helping animals of all kinds, I also founded ARRC Wildlife Trust in 2003 to fulfil the role of providing wildlife rehabilitation services in Tauranga. ARRC has expanded its activities over the years to include our Community Cat Project, leading our nation with a proactive and collaborative approach to addressing the impact of stray and un-owned cats on wildlife and the welfare of these cats, as well as ARRC’s Kids Education Programme. ARRC is also the recipient of several awards.
I am so excited to welcome you to ‘Dr. Liza’ so that I can continue to make a difference to people and animals in New Zealand and around the world! I hope that long term, this will help to drive changes so that we all have access to what I call ‘sustainable animal healthcare’, which is an approach that aims to support health and well-being as opposed to just managing symptoms. Thank you for showing an interest and sharing this journey to encourage a society where our animals are valued, and our natural resources are conserved with care and pride!