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Special Agriculture Trade Envoy appointed

Media Statement
21 July 2005

Special Agriculture Trade Envoy appointed

Alistair Polson is to be the new Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton today announced.

Mr Sutton told a chief executives' function in Palmerston North that the Special Agricultural Trade Envoy had an important role to play in promoting New Zealand's efforts to reform international agricultural trade.

He said Mr Polson came into the role at a particularly important time.

"Promoting New Zealand's interests in farm trade is never easy. But with the WTO agriculture negotiations entering the critical phase we need to ensure we get alongside key farm lobbies and policy makers overseas. Alistair Polson has excellent credentials and networks for this role."

Mr Polson will lobby overseas farmers and farm groups, attend conferences, deliver speeches and encourage foreign media to report New Zealand perspectives. He will also target consumers, taxpayers and environmentalists.

The position is a long-standing one, and previous envoys include Brian Chamberlin, Malcolm Bailey and Graham Fraser.

Mr Polson, from Wanganui, is highly regarded and experienced in the agriculture sector both in New Zealand and overseas.

He is a recipient of the Grasslands Memorial Trust Award (1989) and a Nuffield Scholar (1993). In addition to being a partner in several sheep and beef breeding and finishing properties, he has been actively involved in confronting issues within the agriculture sector including as a member of the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, Director of the APEC Summit CEO Board and government appointee to the New Zealand Veterinary Council.

Mr Polson has a long history of involvement in Federated Farmers, and was New Zealand President from 1999 to 2002. He is currently a director of Wool Equities Limited and Chair of the He Tini Awa Trust.

ENDS


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