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18 June 2002
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.
Photograph follows. Interviews with Andrew McKenzie can be arranged by
calling Chris Morrison - 04 498 9806 or 021 852559.