Diplomat, former SAS man Martyn Dunne to head Ministry for Primary Industries
Martyn Dunne, New Zealand's High Commissioner to Australia and a former head of the Customs Service and senior military officer, has been named head of the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Dunne will take up the three-year term on Nov 18, replacing Scott Gallacher, who has been acting director-general of MPI since the departure of former head Wayne McNee for a job as CEO of dairy genetics group Livestock Improvement Corp.
Dunne has been High Commissioner since 2011, following 6 ½ years running the Customs Service, where he oversaw a strengthening of the focus on border protection, according to a statement from deputy State Services Commissioner Sandi Beatie.
MPI has copped some criticism in recent years, including of its role in the introduction of the kiwifruit wasting disease PSA and muddled paperwork that stalled meat exports on China's wharves this year. The super-ministry was formed from the merger of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Fisheries and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority.
"His appointment signals a fresh start for MPI," Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said in a statement. "His previous experience with Customs in dealing with border security will be very important, as will his experience on trade issues and leadership skills."
Prior to his Customs role he had a 27-year career as a New Zealand Army officer, leading an initial deployment to East Timor and then establishing single NZ Joint Forces Command in the rank of Major General. During his army years he also served in the Special Air Service (SAS), the statement said.
Dunne was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in June 2000 following his service in East Timor.