MPI teams

Within MPI activity to meet the PMAC endorsed workplan is largely spread over two directorates:  the Market Access directorate within the Policy and Trade branch and the Plants, Food and the Environment directorate within the Regulation & Assurance branch. A descrotion of these teams and their respective roles can be found at


The Market Access directorate is led by Tim Knox. This directorate deals with phytosanitary and food safety issues to support plant, animal and marine exports. Plant exports focused work in the Market Access Coordination team within this Directorate is cost recovered, either from industry or generic fees. This team is responsible for leading any response to significant trade issues, negotiating and driving market access requests and working closely with the Plant Imports and Exports teams to respond to sector specific issues raised by key markets.


Individual Market Access team members take responsibility for a region rather than a product. Individual Counsellors deal with all primary products and so issues they are dealing with on a daily basis may range from diary through to truffles, queen bees through to kiwifruit.  While this allows Counsellors to develop one to one relationships with officials in their allocated markets it does mean they need to work closely with the Plant Exports team who provide technical advice on the plant product issues.  Market Access Counsellors must prioritize their time and potentially the number of access requests they deal with for each market.


The Market Access team led two substantial pieces of work supported by cost recovered funds - the fruit fly preparedness project and development and completion of the first the market access prioritisation process.


In MPI’s Regulation & Assurance Branch the Plants, Food and Environment directorate is led by Peter Thomson. This directorate is responsible for the development and implementation of regulatory and non-regulatory interventions for the movement of all products.  Most work in the Plant Exports team within this directorate is cost recovered. This team primarily deals with activity that occurs in New Zealand to facilitate exports. They provide underpinning assistance to plant product exporters by maintaining the phytosanitary certification system, updating ICPR and MRL databases, providing technical input to develop market access requests and monitoring activity to pre-empt issues that could cause problems for exporters. This team is responsible for both phytosanitary and food safety issues. In 2015/16 the Plant Exports team led three projects -the Certification review project, development of food assurances and the scoping project for the ICPR database.


A number of other teams in MPI provide expertise to support to Market Access and Plant Exports, e.g. PHEL (MPI plant laboratory), the risk and policy teams.