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NZFSA Executive Director steps down

NZFSA Executive Director steps down

New Zealand Food Safety Authority executive director Andrew McKenzie is to step down in mid-2007, Food Safety Minister Annette King has announced.

Ms King says that Dr McKenzie, who has headed the organisation since its inception in 2002, is confident the authority is now well established as a credible and trusted food safety authority for New Zealand, and that the time is appropriate for him to explore specific interest areas and seek new challenges.

"I agree with Andrew that it is critical to New Zealand's economy that our national food safety authority is considered, both at home and by our trading partners, as a credible and trusted agency. I believe this has been largely achieved," she said

Dr McKenzie, a New Zealand veterinary graduate, has worked in government for almost 40 years in a range of roles related to the food industry and biosecurity. He led the establishment of NZFSA which combined the domestic food safety functions of the Ministry of Health with the role of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in primary production and export of food. The move resulted in a single, integrated agency with responsibility for all food-related legislation.

Ms King says: "Under his leadership, NZFSA has become a vibrant agency with a high level of morale and purpose. NZFSA is respected both within New Zealand and internationally for its people and their ability to formulate and deliver cutting-edge policy. I am confident that the NZFSA Andrew has set up will continue to serve New Zealand's interests well into the future."

Under Dr McKenzie's stewardship, NZFSA has undertaken an extensive review of New Zealand's food regulatory programme to ensure the food industry is positioned to meet the future requirements of consumers of New Zealand food, both domestically and internationally. In October the Domestic Food Review proposals were accepted unopposed by Government.

"Andrew says the approval to implement the NZFSA recommendations has been a highlight of his career, and that he believes this will give New Zealand a world-class system that will serve us well. To me that has been the hallmark of Andrew's NZFSA career. He has been determined to create a world-class organisation. He will leave with it in very good heart."

ENDS


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