2023/07/21 - Press

Celebrating 30 years in New Zealand!

Vignette_corpo_30ans_NZ.jpgIn June 2023, Virbac New Zealand celebrated 30 years of its commitment to animal health in Aotearoa New Zealand. All employees gathered together to mark this amazing achievement and look back on these past three decades.

The story of Virbac in New Zealand has two parts - the arrival of Virbac in New Zealand, and secondly the acquisition of Stockguard and its move to Hamilton, where Virbac NZ is located today.

In 1993, the Virbac Group, through Virbac Australia and Managing Director Bill Blackhall, acquired Techvet Laboratories in Auckland, establishing Virbac NZ. In 1995, Virbac NZ moved to East Tamaki in Auckland, where it remained until the acquisition of Stockguard. Virbac’s tenure in Auckland is fondly remembered by its recognisable blue building and strategically placed company vehicle.

The early days of Virbac NZ were all about growth and diversification. Virbac NZ created several NZ-only companion animal innovations, along with innovative production animal products such as Revive & Diarrest, TechTonic, HeadStart, and Leptospirosis vaccines.

Virbac Acquires Stockguard 
In 2012, Virbac NZ acquired the Waikato-based company Stockguard. Stockguard had a long history of being a leader in the NZ animal health industry, with a history stretching back to the early 1910s. Starting in the 1980s, Stockguard started producing its products on site in its own manufacturing facility in Pukete, Hamilton. They had created and sold innovative products such as SmartShot, which was a world first for the microencapsulation of vitamin B12 for slow release in animals. Around this time, Stockguard also developed Penclox, and both of these products are still top-selling products today.

After a smooth merger in 2012, and a move to the facility in Hamilton, the Virbac NZ that we know today began to truly take shape. The acquisition of Stockguard strengthened Virbac’s position in the NZ farm animal market, and the company has now grown to become the 5th largest animal health only company in NZ.

Virbac New Zealand continues to create new and innovative products, and looks forward to shaping the future of animal health in New Zealand for the next 30 years, and beyond.

An Evening of Celebration
On the evening of 23 June, staff gathered at the Novotel Hamilton Tainui to celebrate this awesome accomplishment together. The evening started with a welcome from General Manager Fraser Hodgson and Marketing Manager Travis Marsh, as well as the presentation of a video commemorating the milestones at Virbac New Zealand over the past 30 years. At this time, the commemorative statue was presented

After dinner, Production Manager Ric Burke and Business Development Manager Peter Norgrove each spoke about the history of the company. Mr. Norgrove has been with Virbac NZ almost since its start in New Zealand, and Mr. Burke spent many years with Stockguard before it was acquired by Virbac NZ, and stayed on after the merger. It was enlightening to hear how the Virbac NZ that we know today came to be.

The evening closed with a delicious cake, upon which was written, “Happy 30th Birthday Virbac NZ.” 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, both past and present, who have shaped Virbac New Zealand into the company that it is today.