The staff at our Clinic are passionate about animal health care and have many years of experience in caring for them.

Meet the team!

Alistair Denton BVSc​ BSc


Alistair grew up in Hawkes Bay. His parents and grandparents are also locals to the region.
Post college, and in between rugby and socializing he completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Ecology, Zoology and Microbiology while working at Heinz Watties during his breaks. Once finished, he headed to England where he stayed for 3 years working in national parks, and teaching troubled teens outdoor pursuits. During this time he was bitten by the travel bug and travelled overseas whenever possible.

Back in NZ he spent 5 years at Massey University Veterinary school working as a tour guide for Contiki in his holidays. Upon completion and now a qualified vet, he moved to Hong Kong to work for the SPCA where he stayed for 3 years. During this time, he dealt with all animals, from angry porcupines to snake bitten poodles and the experience further instilled a strong appreciation for animal welfare and empathy towards suffering animals.

On returning to NZ he worked as the clinical director for the Wellington After Hours Emergency referral clinic, treating all emergencies from Kapiti to Wellington and creating ideal treatment protocols for emergency therapy. During this time he continued his studies completing a certificate in emergency medicine and critical care out of Sydney.

Now with a family, wife Laura and son Max, he returned to Hawkes bay, partly due to it being the best place in the world and partly because there is an abundance of grandparent baby sitters here. He has worked for a variety of clinics in Hawkes Bay but decided to follow his dream and in partnership with Elise opened Clive Cottage Veterinary clinic.

Elise Sandkuijl DipVetNur

Veterinary Nurse/ Business manager

Elise was born in the Netherlands and she traveled extensively around the pacific area. Her encounters with wildlife during those travels inspired her to pursue a career in Veterinary Nursing. One stint saw her traveling to India as a vet nurse through a charity veterinary organisation. She is passionate about any animal life and regulary takes home a stray duck or kitten to look after.

She has worked in Hawkes Bay for 7 years and when she and Alistair worked together they felt that they make a great team. They decided to set up a new clinic in Clive as they are convinced that they can offer animal care where pets are being cared for again by one consistent vet in a small clinic with a homely feel.

Elise lives in Hawkes Bay with her husband and two little love bundles. She is settled, here to stay and wants to make this great region a little more wonderful!

Sarah Bristow CertVetNur

Veterinary Nurse

Sarah is a local girl through and through who has grown up in Te Awanga. She moved to Wellington where she met her partner who grew up in Haumoana. Back in Haumoana since 5 years ago, they have built their lovenest and Sarah studied at Ucol to gain her certificate in Vet Nursing whilst working in the vet world.
Her current count of animals at home is 1 Dog (Hama), 1 three legged kitty (Maddi), 1 free range rabbit who uses the cat door (Rum) and 5 free loading/range chickens (Mo and Dot who are the trouble makers and Dusty, Red and Ovi)

Laura Denton

Front desk

Laura and Alistair have been married for 3 years and she loves and cares for animals just as much as her husband.
When not caring for their son Max, Laura can be found in the clinic on the front desk. She recently completed her Fashion Design studies in Wellington and is masterful at designing, altering and making clothing. She aims to have her own fashion label in the near future.