Council members

The Council is our governing body. They are responsible for the governance of our organisation and, ultimately, for making sure we carry out our functions under the Veterinarians Act.

There are seven members. Three are elected by veterinarians. Two are lay people appointed by the Minister of Agriculture. One member is a veterinarian also appointed by the Minister. The seventh member is the Academic Programme Director of the undergraduate veterinary programme at Massey University.


Dr Lindsay Burton

Ministerial appointed veterinarian and Chair

Lindsay Burton was first appointed in May 2015 and has chaired the Council since March 2019. 
Lindsay graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from Massey University in 1975 and spent five years in mixed animal practice. He joined the NZ Dairy Board in 1980, involved in animal breeding. This was followed by a period as Principal Veterinarian at Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC). Additional roles included the Director of National Animal Identification and Traceability, Principal Scientist Johne's Disease Research Consortium, and Chair of the MPI Farm to Processor Animal Welfare Forum.
Lindsay has extensive experience and expertise in science based decision making. He is a member of Council's Professional Standards Committee and Finance and Risk Committee.


Dr Rachel Gebbie

Elected veterinary member

Rachel graduated from Massey in 2008. She completed an internship at Massey University and has spent several years in small animal practice around the country. She is a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Medicine.
Rachel is a committee member for the Auckland Veterinary Society and the innovative "NZ Women in Veterinary – Essential Solutions" group, a group supporting female veterinarians through providing mentorship, business and leadership advice and emotional support.
Rachel is passionate about creating a sustainable future for vets in NZ. Rachel was elected to Council in December 2016. She is the Chair of our Professional Standards Committee.


Mr Zach Mounsey

Ministerial non-veterinary appointee

Zach is passionate about growing the value of New Zealand’s primary industries and influencing their long-term sustainability. After growing up on a dairy farm in Otorohanga, Zach recognised the opportunity in agriculture early both on-farm and beyond the farm gate. Zach graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Management Studies adding financial, economic and business disciplines to his farming knowledge.

After graduating Zach held roles in public trading and finance at Fonterra in the office of the CFO. He then made the move to DairyNZ as an Economist and followed that with an inaugural corporate support role to the Chief Executive before joining Happy Valley Milk. Zach has also spent time abroad with Harvard Business School developing his leadership and strategic capability.

Zach is a member of our Finance and Risk Committee.

He and his partner Laura also 50:50 sharemilk on a dairy farm along with an equity partnership in Otorohanga where they live.


Dr Sara Bagheri

Elected veterinary member

Sara is a mixed practice veterinarian and graduated from the RVC in 2006. She worked in the UK and Middle East before moving to New Zealand twelve years ago. She is passionate about sports medicine, biomechanics and wellness. She runs a veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation practice and training centre in Canterbury from which she treats equines and canines and offers training to vets, paraprofessionals and owners.

Sara is passionate about veterinary team wellbeing and is an advocate for positive change within the profession to promote this.

Sara was elected to Council in 2019. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, music, baking, and exploring New Zealand on horseback.


Dr Ben Davidson

Elected veterinary member and Deputy Chair

Ben has been a mixed/large animal practitioner for 16 years. He has been a director of the Rangiora Vet Centre for 14 years, where his focus is on future proofing the business and providing veterinary services to clients.
Ben's interest in governance and leadership started at Massey, where he was MUVSA President. He spent seven years on the NZVA Sheep and Beef SIB, including two as President. During this time he worked to improve communication and introduce formal strategic planning.
Ben was elected to Council in December 2016. He was previously a member of Council's Complaints Assessment Committee. Ben has been our Deputy Chair since March 2019 and he is the Chair of our Finance and Risk Committee.


Dr Julie Everett-Hincks

Ministerial non-veterinary appointee

 Julie is a Manager Science at Otago Regional Council. She has a PhD in animal science and previously worked as a senior scientist at AgResearch before completing a law degree. Before taking up her current role, Julie acted as an advisor to the Royal Society Te Apārangi’s Gene Editing Panel.

Julie’s work on improving lamb survival won her national recognition and she was the first woman to receive the Sir Arthur Ward award in 2016 from the New Zealand Society of Animal Production.

Julie is a member of our Professional Standards Committee.

Julie was raised on a sheep farm in South Otago. Julie lives with her family on a small sheep property in coastal Otago.


Dr Jenny Weston

Academic Programme Director of the undergraduate veterinary programme at Massey University

Jenny is the Dean of Veterinary Sciences at Massey University. Jenny graduated from Massey in 1994 and worked in clinical practice (mainly dairy) in Taranaki for 8 years before returning to Massey to run the Farm Services Clinic for ten years. She then coordinated the final year clinical rosters for the BVSc students for several years before her appointment as Associate Dean (BVSc) in 2015 and then Dean in May 2016.
Jenny also earned a Bachelor of Philosophy during her undergraduate training at Massey. Since her return to Massey she has undertaken further education in veterinary epidemiology (leading to Membership of the ANZCVS) and then a PhD on diagnosis and control of Neospora caninum abortion in cattle. More recently she has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Administration and Leadership.
Jenny has been on the Executive of the Dairy Cattle Veterinarians Branch of the New Zealand Veterinary Association since 1997 and is the Immediate Past-President. She was a member of the New Zealand Veterinary Association Board for 6 years, including one term as President.
Jenny is a member of Council's Recency of Practice and Registration Advisory Groups, and represents New Zealand on the Veterinary Schools Accreditation Advisory Committee (VSAAC), which accredits veterinary schools in Australia and New Zealand.
Jenny's interests include endurance riding, breeding Scottish highland cattle, travel, and tramping. She lives on a lifestyle block at Ashhurst with her husband and a menagerie of mammals.