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Welcome to Piopio, A Thriving Village Nestled Between The
World Famous Waitomo Caves and The Rugged Taranaki Coast


Message from outgoing editor, Kate Carter. How lucky are we?

For as long as I have known it, Piopio has been a community of proactive, get up and go kind of people, and this has been demonstrated in the businesses that have developed and thrived over the years.

Businesses like Curious Keas, the Night Owl/Fat Pidgeon, Vets, Barrowcliffe Shearing, Davis Automotives, Piopio Motors, the Oily Rag, Country Couriers, the gift shops, corner stores and more recently Hairloom Designs and the Ferret’s Nest. And that’s just to name a few.

There are so many community driven initiatives that are only here in Piopio due to donated hours by our amazing locals. The Ambulance, the Fire station, the community gym, Aria Toy library, the Community food Stand, Sporting groups and organisations such as the Piopio community Sports Inc Society (Rukuhia domain- with the Rugby and Equestrian clubs), other sporting groups like the Aria Domain, Squash, Tennis, volunteers, and coaches (from Swim Club to all school sports). It wouldn’t be Piopio without the time and effort of so many of us - and I would like to thank everyone for this. People of all ages, thank you for making (and keeping) our community so amazing.

Life as a Vet, Mother, Wife and Farmer
My life as a vet started in Queensland, Australia, graduating from Vet school in 2002. I was born in central Queensland (Moura) and grew up in a little town called Rosedale, on the coast about halfway between Bundaberg and Agnes Waters. I attended an area school about twice the size of Aria for primary and then boarded away in Bundaberg for most of my secondary schooling.
Coming to New Zealand as a New Graduate in 2003 was intimidating. Thanks to open arms from Nicky and Richard Atkinson, the general welcoming community and partner in crime- Anna Martyn, who also started as a new Graduate the same year, we were friends from university starting the next stage of our lives in a new country.

Fast forward almost 20 years, a lot has happened in that time. Three children later (now aged 10, 11 and 12) a wonderful husband, a farming business and a veterinary business, there’s not a lot of hours left in each day.
I’m still very lucky to have the support of family in Australia as well as the extended Carter Clan in New Zealand but consider so many of you in our wider community great friends and colleagues.
I began trading as KC Vet Services (Kate Carter Vet Services) late 2016 wanting to keep my hand in the career I enjoyed- initially part time around farming, ripper rugby, every other school sport or function that held our sons’ interest and other community ventures that I was involved in.

This gradually increased over the years, equipment such as scanners/ultrasounds were invested in to follow my interest in both horse and mixed animal practice. By 2019 the days were being juggled as best possible- but it has left not a lot of time for my own sporting interests or even watering the vege patch… as people can appreciate the time family takes as they grow, as well as running your own business.

So, by May 2021 when the opportunity came to welcome Karen McWhirter (now McCormick) to my team, it has been fantastic to help keep another veterinarian local. We are very lucky to have someone of her skills and interests remain here in Piopio.

Our Veterinary services remain primarily production animal; sheep and beef, working dogs and the occasional cat and horse. Availability (time to fit everything in!) is still an issue but there is a recognised nationwide shortage of vets- we are very lucky to have so many within our district, and hopefully with the borders now relaxing more international veterinarians can enter