Stoke Veterinary Hospital has been around for over 30 years in our purpose built facility on Songer Street. We are proud to support the local and wider community with all their families companion animal needs 7 days a week. We have a strong emphasis on outstanding best in practice techniques which offer all our patients the most current and up to date clinical standards, with being as pain free as possible is one of our strongest practicing aims. Preventative medicine is one of our strengths. Dr Joyce, Dr Meg, Dr Ingrid, Dr Phillipa, Dr Kate and our team are highly skilled. Many of us came especially to live in this fantastic area of NZ to access all that the great outdoors offer and Nelson’s relaxed lifestyle and climate. A large majority of our team have been growing with our families for over 10+ years, this brings a massive wealth of knowledge and the team really enjoy taking care of your special family members throughout their lifetime. 

Meet Our Vets
Dr Joyce Ballance
  • BVSc

Joyce graduated from Massey University in 1987. She worked in Wellington and then the UK before starting work here at Stoke Veterinary Clinic in 1995. She completed her Australian Membership exams in Emergency Medicine, Critical Care and Anaesthesia in 2003, and is committed to continuing education in these fields. She also performs a lot of dentistry.

Joyce enjoys exploring the ourdoors - tramping and mountain biking with her partner, Paul, and her crossbreed dog, Tui. She is active in the visual arts and is a keen gardener.

Dr Meg Irvine
Clinical Lead Veterinarian
  • BVSc

Meg has been a Veterinarian at Stoke Vets for over 14 years. Meg's passion is working with the whole team to help people and their pets get the best out of their relationships and their lives together She has a special interest in feline medicine and has many regular feline clients. Outside of work Meg is married to Callum (who is also a vet!) Mum to 3 boys and a Border Terrier called Briar and a cat called Mr Wiggles!

Dr Ingrid Cole
Clinical Lead Veterinarian
  • BVSc

Ingrid grew up in Christchurch before moving to the North Island to study for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and liked it so much, she decided to stay. She is now back in the South Island at Pet Doctors Stoke where she feels right at home. A natural people person, Ingrid enjoys interacting with clients and their pets. She is also a huge animal advocate and works hard to do the best for her patients.

Ingrid has 3 pets, all of which were accidental acquisitions through work! Sprockett is a big ginger cat saved from euthanasia, Monty was a puppy needing a home at the clinic and Onxy is a pony with laminitis. Ingrid lives in Ruby Bay with her husband and two children and enjoys camping in their 1970's caravan while getting out to explore the beautiful area.

Dr Phillipa Bagnall
  • BVSc

Phillipa graduated from Massey University in 2009 and joined us in September 2017 after working at one of our sister clinics in Christchurch. In a prior life she was a vet nurse before taking the plunge and going to vet school.
Phillipa's special interests include emergency work, surgery, oncology and dentistry and she was the first veterinary recipient of the Dr Stephen Coles NVC scholarship for veterinary dentistry.
In her spare time Phillipa enjoys travel and spending time with family and friends, especially her 2 girls, husband and 'pocket rocket' border terrier Nugget.

Dr Kate Field
  • BVSc

Kate graduated in 2008 from Massey University. After spending a few years in small animal practice in Timaru, she went to the UK for 18 months on a working OE with her partner and fellow vet Todd. They returned to NZ in 2011, got married and have been working in the Nelson/Tasman area ever since. Kate started working at SVH as a locum in 2014, but is now a permanent member of staff. Kate and Todd have 2 kids - Emily and Georgia, with one on the way. They also share 3 cats - Ptolemy the Siamese, Frodo the English moggie, and Brown the rescue Burmese.

Dr Iain Pashby

Iain graduated in 2016 from The Royal (Dick) Veterinary College in Edinburgh, Scotland where he was born. He worked in mixed practice in rural Aberdeenshire for 2.5 years before working in various charity practices across the South Pacific. He then found himself in Oamaru working as a mixed vet for the better part of a year and finally landed in sunny Nelson where he is slowly adjusting to the double digit temperatures!

With the rugby boots being hung up due to injury, Iain spends his spare time practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and working towards his pilot’s license. He is also undergoing further study towards his Advanced Veterinary Practitioner certificate through the University of Liverpool.

When he’s not cycling through the railway reserve he can often be found tending to his veggies and throwing caution to the wind cooking or baking with whatever can be found in the garden.

Dr Charity Van Acker
  • DVM

Charity graduated with a DVM from the University of Georgia (USA) and then spent a year in Washington DC completing a rotating small animal internship. Charity has always been a cat lady but her experience in DC solidified a love for working with cats as she had a large kitty caseload in that urban setting.

Charity settled back in Georgia, worked briefly in small animal private practice outside of Atlanta and then made the big move to Melbourne, Australia with her husband (who is an equine medicine specialist) in 2012. In Melbourne, Charity worked in both private and University practice and continued to develop her interests in feline medicine, dentistry, teaching, and client communication.

Outside of work, you’ll find Charity obsessively photographing her house full of cute ginger cats (yes, her iPhone storage is “full” of cat photos), enjoying the outdoors, travelling, and cooking. Charity is always on the hunt for good food and wine, and brand new to the Nelson area, so please do share!

Charity is so excited to join and collaborate with the wonderful team at Stoke!

Meet Our Veterinary Nurses
Team Leader
  • CVN

Lisa has been part of the team since 2005 and has the role of Team Leader Clinical.

At home, Lisa has a various array of pets. She has three dogs - Libby, Axel and Ella, two cats - Blake and Bindi, two rabbits - Corin and Manu, three chickens - Val, Vera and Violet and a pet pig called Rosie.

Lisa is greyhound crazy, and in her spare time volunteers for two greyhound adoption agencies, doing various community activities and performing home checks for potential new owners.

In 2014 Lisa, was awarded the prestigious New Zealand Veterinary Nurse of the year. Lisa was thoroughly deserving of this award and we at Stoke Veterinary Hospital are very proud to have her on our team.

Senior Vet Nurse
  • DVN

Ele has a Massey Diploma in VN and joined us with 13 years’ experience in small animal medical and surgical nursing to assume the role of head nurse. She has been on the team for 8 years and although now works part-time, continues to have a passion for surgery, intensive care and ultrasound/diagnostics. Ele remains in a senior role applying advanced nursing techniques and patient care and support for junior colleagues. She spends the rest of her time with her family and fur babies enjoying what Nelson has to offer.

Senior Vet Nurse
  • CVN

Victoria has been working with us since 2003 after completing her studies in Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing. Victoria has the role of Senior Veterinary Nurse, Along with all aspects of nursing she also maintains our anaesthetic and dental machines and orders our pharmaceutical products. Victoria strives to keep up to date with current veterinary nursing practice, attending Nurse Plus seminars in emergency care, radiography, intravenous fluid therapy, catheter care, pain management, and wound management.

Vet Nurse
  • DVN

Carmen joined us in December 2012 after completing her nursing training in Invercargill. She has both her National Certificate of Veterinary Nursing (2011) and her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (2012). Carmen is a friendly and enthusiastic member of the nursing team who loves working with animals and interacting with their loving owners – she is a people person. Carmen has interests in dental and hospital care. Carmen has returned to her nursing role at Stoke in a part-time capacity after having a young family.

Vet Nurse Clinical Coordinator

Originally from the UK, Nicola worked in a Vet Clinic for 17 years gaining Distinction in Animal Care and qualifying as a Vet Nurse in 1996.
She moved to NZ with her family in 2008 and has been at Stoke Vet Hospital since January 2018.
She enjoys spending time with her family, loves football and has 2 pet rabbits, Panda and Pumpkin.

Vet Tech
  • BVN

Trish completed her studies in Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Massey University in 2019, and in July 2021 we welcomed Trish into our team.

Trish grew up in the Nelson area from 11 years old, and after several years away at university she had a strong desire to come back home.

Before moving to Nelson, Trish grew up on a lifestyle block in North Canterbury, and this is where her passion for animals came from. Trish has a strong interest in surgery and anaesthesia, as well as dentals and hospital care.

In her down time she will be found either with her horse Phoenix, a Kaimanawa, or taking her dog Rosa, a Labradoodle, for a walk at the beach or Rough Island forest.

Vet Tech
  • BVT

Miri grew up in Christchurch before moving up north to study. She graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology before joining the team at Stoke Vets in November 2021. This is her first role out of university, and she couldn’t imagine a better place to be a new graduate! Miri has a particular interest in anaesthesia and radiography.

When she is not at work, you’ll often find Miri outside roller-skating or with her horse. She is an active participant in equestrian sports and is slowly moving up the show-jumping grades with her thoroughbred, Max. Miri also has a cat named Felix.

Miri was a competitive dancer for many years and is still an avid fan of the performing arts.

Meet Our Client Support
Team Leader
  • Veterinary Nurse - CVN

Diane has been a member of the Stoke Vet Clinic team since 2001. Graduating with a NMIT National Certificate in Veterinary Nursing her role has evolved over time in the practice. Team Leader and administration tasks have become her primary role as the practice has continued to grow. Diane has continued to pursue qualifications to aid her administrative role including a Certificate of Small Business Management, Certificate in Money Management and a Certificate in Computer Technology. She enjoys living in the Nelson area with extended family and friends. Diane has two mini schnauzer dogs, Billie-Mae who is 3 years old and Tessie-Bear who is only a wee pup!

Client Relations

After years in the hospitality industry, Debbie has found her true calling working with animals as well as people. She is kept busy with her two dogs, Billy and Roxy, but would take all animals home if given half the chance!!

Client Relations

Katie started at the Stoke Vets in 1999 after completing her Certificate in Veterinary Nursing, making her one of our longest standing staff members!  Apart from a three year stint overseas teaching horse riding at a summer camp in the USA,  locum vet nursing around the UK and having her son Josh, she has been with us ever since! 

Katie has always had various animals growing up on a farm in Wakefield, horses being a big part of those years. Now at home, she has two big dogs, chickens, ducks, sheep and fish to keep her busy! 

Client Relations

Shari joined the team in March 2018 after being a long standing client of the practice. Shari is well known for her great customer service skills and friendly smile.

Shari has two cats called Bikkie and Carter, and a naughty papillon named Toby. But be careful, Shari will steal your pet away from the waiting room for a snuggle!

Client Relations

We were so lucky to have Vicki join our Client Relations team in April 2019. Vicki has been working with animals for the past 12 years with a range of different animals including exotic, native and farm animals. Vicki is a bird handling superstar! She has a lovely Labrador called Izzy, together they have been a regular client of the clinic for 9 years.

Client Relations

Donna works as part of our client relations team and is our fabulous casual receptionist. She completed her certificate in Veterinary nursing in 2009.
Donna enjoys working as part of a team to get the best outcome for both our clients and their pets.
Donna bred Tonkinese kittens for 12 years, so cats are a special interest for her.
At home, Donna is bossed about by a Burmese cat called Zebeedee, a moggy called Betty and Argie the Labrador.

Vet Nurse Support
Vet Nurse Assistant
  • VNA

Originally from Japan, Remi has grown up in NZ and has lived here since she was two years old.

A lover of dogs and of course all animals, Remi loves connecting with animals on the same level and energy as them to be able to further understand what they’re going through. At the clinic, she is often seen talking to dogs trying to make every vet trip a fun and happy one. A dog owner herself - Rocko, a Fox Terrier x Jack Russell, in her spare time Remi often uses him to help other pups socialise.

Remi aspires to train dogs and be able to show that even the scariest of breeds, with the right training, any dog can become a great dog. She is big advocate for animal welfare and positive reinforcement training. As dogs and all animals have helped her, in turn, Remi loves to be able to help as many as she can.

Vet Nurse Assistant

Tracey had kindness and empathy instilled in her at a young age, growing up at her family home just outside of Blenheim. Animals quickly became her passion which has recently lead her to retrain after being in retail management for many years gaining experience with people.
Tracey is completing her certificate in Vet Nurse Assistant and aims to complete the diploma in Vet nursing next year, meanwhile she feels she is learning from the best!
Tracey and her family ran a small business caring for small animals and gained experience with dogs, cats, rabbits, and also turtles, pigs and cockatoos.
In her down time Tracey loves spending time with her husband, 2 daughters and fur children Milli the dachsund, Harper the cat, and 3 Netherland dwarf rabbits. Tracey enjoys the peaceful Nelson beaches, and nurturing her houseplant collection.