Deputy State Services Commissioner Sandi Beatie has today announced the appointment of Martyn Dunne CNZM as the new Director-General for Primary Industries and Chief Executive of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

"Mr Dunne is an experienced leader, respected diplomat and highly regarded former Public Service Chief Executive," Ms Beatie said.

Mr Dunne is currently New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Australia, a position he has held since 2011. As High Commissioner he has been responsible for managing trade issues with one of New Zealand’s most important trading partners. Mr Dunne was the Comptroller of Customs and Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service for 6 and half years until 2011. Prior to this he served as an officer in the New Zealand Army for 27 years, where he attained the rank of Major General and was the commander of New Zealand forces in East Timor.

Mr Dunne was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in June 2000 following his service in East Timor.

"Mr Dunne has outstanding experience in the protection of New Zealand’s borders, regulation of exports and trade as well as international diplomacy and leadership of large, complex organisations," said Ms Beatie.

"Primary production and exports are the backbone of New Zealand’s economy and MPI plays a critical role," she said.

I am very pleased we have attracted someone of Mr Dunne’s experience and calibre to this important role.”

MPI’s core role is to “Grow and Protect New Zealand” by helping boost primary sector productivity and export earnings through sound policy and regulation, food safety assurance and protection from biological risk.  Its core business comprises the management of three major systems – primary production, food safety and bio-security.

Mr Dunne has been appointed for a term of three years commencing on 18 November 2013.

Scott Gallacher is currently MPI’s Acting Director-General, a role he took up in July when the previous Director-General, Wayne McNee, left MPI to take up a role in the private sector.

"I would like to thank Mr Gallacher for his hard work and effective leadership of MPI through a challenging period," Ms Beatie said.


Media enquiries:  Tim Ingleton, SSC Communications 021 240 7810


Martyn Dunne was appointed as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Australia in 2011.  In this role, Mr Dunne has been responsible for one of New Zealand’s most critical diplomatic relationships where he is responsible for maintaining and developing strong relationships across state and federal government.  

Between 2004 and 2011 Mr Dunne was Chief Executive and Comptroller of the New Zealand Customs Service.  Mr Dunne reorganised the Service into a more adaptable and future focused organisation with a stronger border protection role.  The Service significantly increased the rate of interdictions of methamphetamines and their precursors and also introduced the “Smartgate” border system while he was Comptroller.

In June 2009, Mr Dunne was elected to be Chair of the World Customs Organisation, the largest international organisation responsible for setting global customs, trade security and customs operating standards. He held the role until his appointment as High Commissioner.  

Prior to leading the Customs Service, Mr Dunne was an officer in the New Zealand Army for 27 years.  He commanded the initial deployment of New Zealand Forces in East Timor and was subsequently responsible for the establishment of a single New Zealand Joint Forces Command in the rank of Major General. His military service also included roles with the New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS).

Mr Dunne holds a Masters of Arts (Strategic Studies) from La Trobe University, Melbourne.  He is a graduate fellow of the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies and graduate in the Australian Army Command and Staff College, Fort Queenscliffe.  He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.


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