09 525 5520

Manager Ornamental/Plant Product Imports (Ref 03/1902/PB)

Short Profile

  • Rare opportunity to make a difference!
  • Multifaceted role, strategic focus
  • Contribute to preserve our prized biosecurity status!

Lead and support the development and implementation of Plant Products/Ornamental Imports Programme for MPI

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Job Category: Science & Technology

Job Type: Full-Time

Area: Wellington

Published: February 11, 2019

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The Ministry for Primary Industries is the public service department of New Zealand charged with overseeing, managing and regulating the farming, fishing, food, animal welfare, biosecurity, and forestry sectors of New Zealand’s primary industries. An essential function of the team is protecting the country and our economy by stopping pests and diseases at the border, before they get to New Zealand and eradicating or managing the impact of those already here. With a clear and strategic vision to proactively combat and eradicate any potential biosecurity challenges, whilst supporting and respecting the interests of commercial stakeholders, MPI is undergoing a radical structural and procedural change to enable streamlined systems and optimised functioning.

The purpose of these two newly created positions of Manager Plant Product Imports and Ornamental Imports is to lead a team of technical specialists who develop, implement and review import health standards and other biosecurity standards for the importation of plant products and ornamental plants, cut flowers and foliage products, respectively. The positions also establish and review standards for transitional and other facilities associated with imports in the biosecurity system to ensure risk is effectively managed.  Your team will be the primary interface providing advice and issue resolution to plant import teams, biosecurity officers, whilst working collaboratively with importers, exporters and trading partners to educate them and ensure that compliances are adhered to. This will be a very busy and diverse role where you will be participating in bilateral market access negotiations and contribute to development of internationally harmonised standards, while in case of a biosecurity issue with trade implications, you will be leading the response.



Key responsibilities of this role will include;

  • Ensure timely delivery of the Plant Product or Ornamental Imports work programme.
  • Evaluate compliance and performance of import pathways and facilities and identify and implement improvements.
  • Manage the development and review of import health standards (IHSs) for ornamental plants and cut flowers, or plant products and standards for facilities. This includes the selection and implementation of appropriate phytosanitary measures to effectively manage biosecurity risk.
  • Ensure standards are harmonised within MPI and with relevant international standards and WTO SPS principles and ensure measures are technically justified.
  • Ensure New Zealand’s phytosanitary import requirements are well understood by trading partners, exporters, importers and MPI border staff.
  • Provide timely and reliable technical advice to biosecurity inspectors making clearance decisions at the New Zealand border.
  • Participate in bilateral technical discussions with appropriate authorities from overseas countries and participate at appropriate multilateral technical quarantine meetings as required.
  • Pro-actively engage with industry stakeholders and counterparts within MPI and MFAT to resolve issues in a timely and effective manner and to maintain strong awareness of import pathways from production to arrival and industry developments.
  • Cultivate a network of contacts among specialists within NZ and overseas to secure access to critical review and advice on Pathway performance.
  • Participate in technical pathway assessments, audits and accreditations as necessary and ensure export country systems and offshore facilities remain effective in meeting MPIs biosecurity requirements.
  • Manage all resources and outcomes within the function through the effective implementation of organisational processes and procedures.

To be considered for this role, you will ideally have the following skills and attributes;

  • Relevant tertiary qualification in Horticulture/Agriculture/Forestry or a similar biological field with strong experience in Management at a senior strategic level in a similar highly regulated environment.
  • A qualification in auditing and/or relevant knowledge and experience.
  • In depth philosophical and practical understanding of New Zealand’s Biosecurity System, horticulture and forestry sectors.
  • Knowledge of the International Plant Protection Convention and its International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures.
  • Experience in managing strategic relationships with international trade partners and knowledge of WTO SPS principles is highly desirable.
  • Knowledge and understanding of new and emerging technologies that can optimise systems for measuring compliance and delivering customer and regulatory assurances.
  • Proven experience in coaching and mentoring large teams through a Change Management scenario including development and implementation of Process Improvement initiatives.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills at all levels of the business whilst consistently upholding the organisation’s values and ethics.
  • Extremely results oriented with a strong focus on quality and meeting customer needs through service delivery.
  • Strategic ability to identify issues and opportunities and develop solutions that deliver on business goals and values.
  • Intuitive and logical problem solving skills where you are able to make informed decisions.
  • Self-motivated, resilient with a ‘can do’ attitude and a high level of flexibility to adapt to change in circumstances.
  • Intermediate computer skills (Word, Excel), excellent written and verbal skills.


The key to your success will be your ability to utilise your impressive strategic, project management, communication and leadership skills and build strong networks/relationships with the key stakeholders to achieve successful outcomes. You will lead a disparate and culturally diverse team, motivating and empowering individuals and teams through delegation, continuous development and coaching.

This exciting role has been newly created to provide pivotal support to the organisation’s Operational Transformation Program and will be awarded by an excellent remuneration package. To learn more about this outstanding opportunity  apply today with a CV and Cover letter in WORD format only to, quoting job number  03/1902/PB or call Pavan on (+64) 9 5255520 for a confidential discussion.











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