Lindsay Graham Chitty BVSc, FRPSL, FRPSNZ

The Beginning

I was born in Auckland February 1947. My parents were farming and saw-milling at Waikaretu which is on the coast between Raglan and Port Waikato, West of Huntly. My father was prevented from going to the WWII war because he was required to stay behind and continue farming. I went to the Waikaretu School; there was a large Maori population in the district; the day I started school, the European roll increased from one to three (two of us had birthdays the same day). So I grew up among the Maoris, which is one of the reasons that I have a particular interest in Maori culture. We loved nature and learned gardening and fishing by traditional methods. One school rule at the time was that anyone speaking Maori was given the strap (Maori was the first language in many cases).


Because we lived in such a remote area, there was no choice but to go to boarding school after Primary was finished. My parents sent me to New Plymouth Boys’ High School, where many kids from our district went because it had 300 boarders, and was less expensive than the Private Schools. I passed University Entrance, spent a year in the 7th form, before enrolling at Massey University, doing Veterinary Science. I graduated BVSc (Massey) in 1971 as a Veterinarian, one of the early New Zealand graduates.


1971 – 1981 Huntly District Veterinary Club, four years as Senior Veterinarian.  Quite early in my employment I won a Veterinary Services Council scholarship to attend an Australian course. My employers allowed me to conduct research with the developing technology of embryo recovery and transfer in cattle, to the stage where we had pregnancies by the new technology but a downturn in the economy prevented it becoming commercial at that stage.

1981 to 2017 Living in Otorohanga. In 1981 I bought into Otorohanga Veterinary Services and operated a two-man practice for a number of years. We established a branch in Te Kuiti and through a series of mergers and acquisitions became Veterinary Enterprises Group Ltd. (VetEnt), New Zealand’s largest Veterinary Group. One of the advantages working in general practice in that era is that we were true General Practitioners and did everything from medicine, surgery and preventative medicine across a wide range of species. We got very good at surgery because we had no specialist to send our cases to. There was lots of orthopaedic work with farm dogs getting kicked and hooked up in fences, and I took a particular interest in doing bowel surgery in cattle.

I moved from clinical practice and worked for 17 years with embryo collection and transfer technology (ET) in a subsidiary Company, Animal Breeding Consultants Ltd which following a merger formed Animal Breeding Services Ltd. I was mainly involved with cattle ET work in New Zealand but helped our team in Australia doing ET work in sheep and goats, and even now do odd stints of locum work in Australia when asked. I have done quite a bit of this work in Chile. The Company was able to compete with the best in the world because of the consistently good results we obtained. I helped establish New Zealand’s second pig semen collection and processing facility at Rukuhia, Hamilton.

I managed one other subsidiary Company, VetPak Limited for 5 years, before it was sold. This is a small Company supplying nutritional and some registered animal remedies to the veterinary Profession. I then transferred to the Head Office in Te Awamutu as Audit and Compliance Officer for the Group.

I am a foundation owner of the VetEnt Group. We operate throughout New Zealand and have clinics in 22 towns North and South Islands. We employ 240 Veterinarians, Technicians, Vet Nurses, Administrative and Support staff.

2017 Shifted to Seatoun, Wellington where I work part time for VetEnt, continuing my role as Audit and Compliance Officer for the Group.


Gillian and I married in 1971 after a well-worn track between the vet school and the nurses home, and an old Morris Oxford that knew the roads between Huntly, Whanganui and Palmerston North by heart. Gillian is a retired nurse, and spent time public health nursing in Huntly and a Doctor’s Practice Nurse in Otorohanga for 29 years. We have Daughter Debbie, (GP), & Son-in-law, Steve (Medical Consultant) in Wellington with two grandchildren, Joshua and Emma. In Christchurch we have Son Richard, (Dive Business) and Daughter-in-law, Julie (Teacher) in Christchurch with three grandchildren Sophie, Cameron and Ollie. We are a close family and enjoy time together.


I joined the Huntly Rotary Club in May 1976 when I became its youngest member transferring to the Rotary Club of Otorohanga in 1971.

I have held every club position at club level in Otorohanga except Secretary, including Treasurer for a number of years, and President.  The club was in poor financial heart, and along with a few other key members built up a Trust fund which at its peak held $70,000 in investments for funding projects.

I have been a Trustee of the Otorohanga Rotary Club Charitable Trust, the Wilshier Charitable Trust and have been a Trustee of the Rotoart Charitable Trust. The Rotoart Charitable Trust held one International Student Art competition, which was an interesting project to say the least.

The most memorable project was the “Great Train Robbery” during the first year of Polio Plus. A steam train was travelling from Auckland to Te Kuiti as part of the centennial celebrations of the opening of the Main Trunk Line, was held up at Te Kawa. A girl was tied across the track and the train stopped by members of the Te Kuiti musket club firing from vintage cars, and horses. Rotary members boarded the train and after receiving sufficient donations let the girl and the train proceed. We raise $1200 for Polio Plus.

There was also a joint community project with Lions and Jaycees where the three clubs not only funded, but built a heated swimming pool for Otorohanga with voluntary labour within the clubs.

The main recent fundraising project in Otorohanga has been publishing the Community Phone Directory which is provided free to all residents in the Otorohanga and Te Kuiti urban and rural areas, supported by advertising. About $20,000 was raised annually helping fund projects. I have driven this project for a number of years.

On 17th June 2004 I was made a Paul Harris Fellow.

Other Interests


I am a serious collector of stamps and postal history. I belong to several philatelic Societies and enjoy speaking to them. Unfortunately one event in London in May 2020 has been cancelled because of the COVIC-19 epidemic where I was due to be guest speaker. My philosophy with stamp and postal history collecting is that I am the current custodian of that material, which I make available to others throughout the world by exhibiting, displaying and talking about. I am President and a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand, and a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London.

My collecting interests include:

  • New Zealand’s first issue, The Chalon Heads 1855 – 1863.
  • New Zealand’s First Pictorial Issue 1898 (Gold and Large Gold awards)
  • Maoritanga (Large Gold awards)
  • Prisoner of War Correspondence WWII Japanese Occupation of Asia & SE Asia (Large Gold awards).
  • Civilian Internee Mail Japanese Occupation of Asia & SE Asia (Large Gold awards).
  • Repatriation Mail Japanese Occupation of Asia & SE Asia (Large Gold award).
  • Methods of Officially Sealing Mail in New Zealand.
  • Postal Use of the 1931 Arms-type Stamps.
  • The Ruhleben Civilian Internee Camp, Germany WWI.
  • POW Correspondence Stalag VIIIb Germany WWII.
  • The South African Homelands.

I am a National Judge, and have been involved in the management of two recent National Stamp Exhibitions. I am a Trustee of the New Zealand National Philatelic Trust.


I am a keen fisherman, and look forward to doing more once I finally make the break and retire.

Lindsay Chitty