MAF person to chair International Commission

9 December 1998

Dr John Hedley of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has been elected to chair a new international plant commission. Dr Hedley is MAF Regulatory Authority’s national advisor on Plant Health (Sanitary Pytosanitary). His appointment will keep New Zealand at the forefront of developing international plant health standards.

Dr Hedley will chair the new Commission on Pytosanitary Measures, which is under the jurisdiction of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). The Commission’s main responsibility will be the development of international standards for the application of official plant quarantine restrictions.

"New Zealand has always strongly supported the development of international standards in plant health matters. This new post will enable the country to be closely involved in the Commission’s work. We can help push forward the programme for the development of standards and encourage other countries to participate," said Dr Hedley.

"Having a New Zealander chairing the new Commission ensures that New Zealand keeps at the forefront of the development of global plant health rules that will affect local agriculture and trade interests."

Dr Hedley has had extensive experience in the area of plant health measures through his work with MAF, the FAO, and at regional plant protection organisations. He was the first coordinator of the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention at the FAO in Rome. For many years he assisted with the programmes of the Asia and Pacific Plant Protection Organisation.

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