The Secretariat

Supporting PMAC members

The Secretariat is employed by the Council to support its activities

The Chairman                                                                                  


Michael Ahie  was appointed Independent Chair of the PMAC on the first of July 2016 .  Replacing Russ Ballard who was in the CHair for 6 years.

Michael has a strong background in primary industry and in governance. He is currently Pro Chancellor of Massey University; Chair of the Board of ComplyWith and Chair of Plant and Food Research. He is also director of FMG and Spring Sheep Milk Co and in addition is a member of the New Zealand Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council and of Inland Revenue's Risk and Assurance Committee.  Before becoming involved in governance Michael worked with a number of multinational companies including Toyota New Zealand Ltd, the New Zealand Dairy Board and Wrightson Ltd and was a founding partner of a leadership and business coaching company AltusQ

Michael was thrilled to be appointed as Chair and considers it fits well with a number of his other positions.  Whilst recognising the growth of many of our sectors and recent record sales he has warned against complacency and has asked that MPI and to PMAC take nothing for granted. In this fast moving world of accelerating change he considers it is necessary that industry and government alike take a fresh look at what we do and where we want to go.

The Executive Officer   




Helen Gear

Helen administers PMAC affairs from her office in Wellington.  She is responsible for the coordination of all PMAC activity and services.

For 22 years Helen owned and ran a wholesale Plant Nursery (Heritage Horticulture) in the Waikato between 1980 and 2002.  A brief foray into the export of rose plants in the 1990’s proved to be uneconomic but very educational.

In 2002 Helen moved to Wellington  and worked for the Foundation for Research Science and technology for 4 years after which she contracted to  a number of Government departments including: DOC, ERMA NZ (now the EPA) and MAF BNZ. With this range of experience she appreciates the range of perspectives at the PMAC table and is familiar with Industry issues and Agency processes.

Helen can be contacted at

  • T:    +64 (4) 239 9945
  • M:   +64 (274) 868131
  • E: