Boost for Hort NZ’s biose­cu­rity team

The Orchardist - - News -

Pre­vi­ously, Leanne worked for MAF/MPI in the plant im­port and ex­port group, work­ing on de­vel­op­ment of im­port health stan­dards (IHS) and phy­tosan­i­tary is­sues re­lat­ing to trade in­clud­ing fruit fly risk man­age­ment, pol­icy de­vel­op­ment, op­er­a­tional re­search, off­shore au­dit and as­sess­ments, and bi­lat­eral trade meet­ings.

So why leave the sunny streets of Rome to come home to New Zealand? “Af­ter five years in gov­ern­ment, and three years in an in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion, I wanted to work in pri­vate in­dus­try to ap­ply my ex­pe­ri­ence in help­ing to pro­tect New Zealand grow­ers from biose­cu­rity risk. My goal here is to strengthen the biose­cu­rity port­fo­lio within Hort NZ, and rep­re­sent grow­ers’ in­ter­ests at all lev­els across the biose­cu­rity sys­tem, in­clud­ing the pre-bor­der (to keep risk off­shore), bor­der and post-bor­der en­vi­ron­ments.

“I want the grow­ers to have ac­cess to the best biose­cu­rity ser­vices we can of­fer them - that’s why I’m here.”

Leanne cer­tainly knows what she’s do­ing; in ad­di­tion to her pre­vi­ous work ex­pe­ri­ence, she also holds a BSc in Plant Bi­ol­ogy and Ecol­ogy, and a post­grad­u­ate Diploma in Plant Pro­tec­tion from Massey Univer­sity. She hasn’t had much time to set­tle back in to Kiwi life since she got back, and is al­ready in the thick of things here.

“It’s great be­ing back, but a bit cold,” she laughs. “How­ever, there are so many things about New Zealand that make it an amaz­ing coun­try, for one I’d say the wine here beats Ital­ian wine any day!”

Be­ing home means catch­ing up on pas­times not suited to the hus­tle and bus­tle of Rome; div­ing, fish­ing, and just plain old re­lax­ing are pri­or­i­ties when she gets some spare time.

“It’s just good to be back.”

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