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E-Director of the New Zealand Food Safety Auth.


18 June 2002 - For Immediate Release

Appointment of Executive Director of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority

Dr Andrew McKenzie has been confirmed as the Executive Director of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) which comes into existence on 1 July 2002.

Murray Sherwin, the Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, (MAF), said the appointment recognised Dr McKenzie's leadership role in food safety in New Zealand. Dr McKenzie was appointed to manage the establishment of an integrated food safety agency in 1999 after an extensive national and international recruitment search. He has managed MAF Food Assurance Authority in the intervening period, creating a highly credible international food assurance agency. Previously he was Chief of MAF's Regulatory Authority.

Dr McKenzie has wide-ranging experience in domestic and international food safety and has a background in New Zealand's primary processing of animal products and their exports. He has also worked extensively in the international food safety standard setting environment, particularly with Codex Alimentarius where he currently chairs the Codex Committee on Meat and Poultry Hygiene.

Dr McKenzie recently chaired an international expert group looking at ways to improve the linkages between the international animal health and food safety standard setting groups to ensure the development of food safety standards across the complete food chain. Dr McKenzie has extensive involvement in implementing World Trade Organisation technical agreements.

NZFSA will be a separate organisation attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. NZFSA's role will be to protect and promote public health and safety and to facilitate access to markets for food and food related products. New Zealand exports nearly 80 percent of the food it produces earning more than $14 billion per annum.

The new agency will bring together the food safety functions of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Health and allow the management of food related risks across the food chain.

ENDS

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