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New chair Environment Risk Management Authority

28 February 2008

New chair Environment Risk Management Authority

Environment Minister Trevor Mallard is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Woods as the new chair of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA).

Mr Woods will start his three year term on 11 April and replaces Neil Walter who has served for five years.

The authority’s primary purpose is to protect people and the environment from the risks of hazardous substances and new organisms by making decisions on applications to import or use new organisms and hazardous substances.

Richard Woods has held a number of senior posts, most recently as chief executive of the NZ Security Intelligence Service. Prior to this he has been an ambassador in several countries and a senior director for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"The complexity of the issues the ERMA board deals with requires a chair with significant diplomatic and decision making skills along with a good grasp of governance issues.

"We need a good mix of people on the board and currently have many who excel in the science and health areas. I feel that Richard Woods will complement that with his considerable leadership experience."

"I would also like to thank outgoing Chair Neil Walter for his dedication and service to ERMA New Zealand over the past five years. His wisdom and professional approach have been invaluable to the organisation, particularly in successfully leading the challenging reassessment of 1080. Likewise, thanks to outgoing deputy chair Professor George Clark for his work over six years on the authority," Trevor Mallard said.

Trevor Mallard appointed current member Dr Max Suckling as the new deputy chair and congratulated Dr Val Orchard on her reappointment for a further three year term as a member.

ERMA includes people with knowledge of Maori and community issues in addition to knowledge of environmental law, new organisms and 'on the ground' expertise in dealing with hazardous substances.


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