Clinic history

In 2009, Greenlane Veterinary Clinic staff and long term clients celebrated 50 years since the practice was started by Terry Goldfinch in 1959.

How times have changed! Today the sign for the veterinary practice is a landmark on Great South Road, however in 1959 professionals were not allowed to advertise, only a discreet brass plaque on the side of the building was permitted. As well as celebrating 50 years of successful practice at the clinic, everyone was eager to pay tribute to Terry and the contribution he has made to the community in his 60 years of practice as a vet.

Terry graduated from Sydney University in 1949. At that time there were no veterinary schools available in NZ. When Terry returned to NZ as a Bursary Student he was obliged to work for the Government run Veterinary Clubs for 5 years. As is the case today there was an extreme shortage of veterinarians. Terry soon decided that small animal work was his preference and Auckland was considered the best city for practice.

At that time there were only four other practices with registered veterinarians in the Auckland area. The business adage for success “location, location, location” was as true then as it is now and with the help of local land agents Great South Rd Greenlane was chosen as the ideal position – a wise choice then and proving still to be after 50 years.

Terry always enjoyed surgery and is mentioned in The History of NZ Vet Practice for his work in developing a technique for the repair of luxating patellas in dogs. He was also involved with research at the Auckland University and dedicated considerable time to assisting on a voluntary basis at the SPCA. He also served on the SPCA Committee and acted as liaison officer for the Auckland Veterinary Association.

Terry Goldfinch

The period from 1960 to 1980 was an exciting time. Enormous progress was made in veterinary medicine. At this time Anaesthesia was in its infancy and Terry tells us that Greenlane was one of the first clinics in Auckland to have a portable oxygen machine. Methods for anaesthesia used today are so careful and sophisticated compared to what was available in the 50’s. The available methods seem primitive now as they caused stress and high risk to the patient. Cats were anaesthetised by pushing the head into a preserving jar containing Ether. Of course the cat would struggle violently and had to be tightly wrapped in a thick blanket to avoid the vet and assistants being badly injured. The use of pre medication, sophisticated monitoring equipment and pain relief has revolutionised the world of animal anaesthesia. Practice Manager Valerie Goldfinch says “The staff at Greenlane treat each patient with great care, they are all animal lovers and aim to make the experience as pain and stress free as possible.”

Over the years the clinic has undergone many renovations. In 2007 the decision was made to renovate the clinic once again to create a more technologically advanced practice. At the end of 2008 the extensive renovations were completed and the clinic was transformed into the bright, spacious, modern clinic that it is today. The renovated clinic has a dental room, a well equipped laboratory, a large work-space for examinations and diagnostic imaging, and a sterile theatre with state of the art surgical and anaesthetic facilities. See our clinic tour for photos.

The recent upgrades have enabled the Greenlane Veterinary Centre to achieve BESTPRACTICE ACCREDITATION, an industry recognised standard of excellence that we continue to hold.