Thursday, 09 March 2023 15:55

New technical adviser appointed

Written by  Staff Reporters
Jo-Anne Stokes Jo-Anne Stokes

Jo-Anne Stokes has been appointed as Animal and Plant Health NZ’s new technical adviser – crop protection.

The role will see Stokes help Animal and Plant Health NZ members tackle the hurdles associated with bringing innovative solutions to New Zealand to manage pests and diseases.

Stokes derived an appreciation for these tools in her biosecurity role for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), where she managed treatments for pests and diseases intercepted at the border.

“It is vital for Aotearoa to have the most effective options for managing 15,000 pests and diseases considered direct threats to our economy, environment and way of life,” she says.

“I’ve seen first-hand what can happen when an unwelcome pest or disease invades our country,” she says. 

Climate change and resistance to treatments will likely see these threats evolve.

“Animal and Plant Health members play a vital role in managing pests and protecting our food security. I am excited to be helping them navigate complex regulatory requirements as they develop innovative solutions for protecting New Zealand’s land-based economies – now and for the future”.

In her 14 years with MPI, Stokes was instrumental in developing a programme to ensure imports are treated before arriving on New Zealand’s shores, as well as meeting requirements for exporting goods.

Before that, she held technical and policy-based roles at Federated Farmers and Rural Women NZ.

She is no stranger to getting her gumboots dirty – having managed farming operations in dairy, beef and horticulture locally and overseas.

. Her combined background has taught her that “there aren't enough tools to eradicate pests and diseases to protect our whenua for the next generation".

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