Thursday, 08 November 2018 12:55

Dunne in style — Editorial

Written by 
Martyn Dunne. Martyn Dunne.

It was once jokingly said that the next most-important job after the All Blacks coach is the head of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Joking aside, there is some truth in this because MPI plays a largely unsung, yet critical, role in the lives of every New Zealander.

With the prospect of a world war unlikely, the next most-serious threat to NZ is in biosecurity, food safety, trade and people’s perception of how the precious land we live on is farmed.

For the last five years, Martyn Dunne has been the director-general of MPI or, if you like, the guardian of our nation. It is he, like his predecessors, who has worked to protect our largely pristine environment from harmful overseas incursions.

MPI, with 3000 staff, is not the largest government department, but it administers more regulations than most others and it has a range of operational arms to enforce these regulations.

It also has many different tasks to perform, including very public biosecurity at airports, animal welfare tasks, and providing input onto trade negotiations and market intelligence for the primary sector.

The challenges of MPI have required Dunne to apply his extensive military, diplomatic and administrative skills to the daily challenges it faces. As the head of MPI, he has not sought the limelight, but quietly and firmly worked behind the scenes to build a department that is fit for purpose, fit for the times and future-proofed to give his successor a head start.

Dunne has been a true leader in all his public service roles and the primary sector has been well served during his tenure in the role. Being a public servant is not easy – the critics are often caustic and uninformed – but under his watch MPI has fronted this professionally and made changes where necessary. But it hasn’t backed-off making hard decisions were necessary.

Industry leaders have acknowledged that Martyn Dunne has made MPI a better organisation during his five year stint there. And as well as acknowledging this, we must also recognise that his entire 50 years in the public sector have helped make NZ a better place for all.

More like this

Growing Sauvignon Blanc diversity

Bragato Research Institute continues to work with the Ministry for Primary Industries and New Zealand Winegrowers members to develop the Sauvignon Blanc Grapevine Improvement programme, sometimes referred to as SB 2.0.

Overseer - ditch it or fix it

Debate on the value of Overseer, the software tool designed to measure and regulate nutrient loss from farms, continues to rage.

National

Ice broken on an old problem

Three enterprising Mackenzie College (Fairlie) students may well have come up with the perfect solution to an age-old problem of…

Cruel April Fool's joke!

In an ironic twist, the Government has pushed back the date of its so-called 'ute tax' or feebate scheme to…

Machinery & Products

Keeping everyone safe

As tractors get larger and front linkage kits become more common, many have started fitting underrun or collision protection systems.

Keeping stock and drivers safe

Livestock haulers are a crucial link in the New Zealand agriculture supply chain, transporting stock onto or between farms, to…

Making lamb marking easy

Designed by a sheep and beef farmer, Vetmarkers are made in New Zealand and sold around the world.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Lock him up!

OPINION: This old mutt notes that Geoff Reid, an 'environmental activist' - whose activism appears to be limited to surreptitiously…

Milking it?

OPINION: Your canine crusader understands members of the 'strategic groups' invoked in the Government-backed 'Fit for a Better World' programme…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter