Wayne McNee to quit ministry job to become CEO of Livestock Improvement Corporation

Wayne McNee, chief executive of the Primary Industries Ministry, has quit to take up the job of chief executive of Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC). He succeeds Mark Dewdney, who leaves the genetics co-operative at the end of next month.

McNee will join Hamilton-based company on July 29. David Hemara will serve as acting chief executive until then.

A report at Stuff quoted from an email McNee sent to MPI staff:

”I have resigned from MPI with regret because we are making a real difference for New Zealand, and I strongly believe we can enable our primary industries to double our exports by 2025. Ministers and stakeholders are committed to our strategy,” McNee wrote.

“However, the opportunity to work in industry in the primary industries at the coal face is irresistible to me, and a sensible progression from much of what I have been doing over the last five and a half years,” he added.

”My goal hasn’t changed – to double New Zealand’s primary exports – but I will be pursuing it in the private sector instead.’

Announcing the appointment, LIC Chairman Murray King said his Board was delighted to have attracted a person of the calibre, background and experience of Mr McNee.

“Wayne McNee has a comprehensive knowledge of agriculture, his passion and expertise evident in the leadership he has displayed as CEO of the Ministry of Fisheries and the integration of that Ministry with Forestry and Agriculture into the Ministry for Primary Industries.

“This appointment is a huge accolade to the role LIC plays within the New Zealand agricultural sector and the economy generally. Wayne is moving from the Ministry to what’s often called the engine room of the dairy industry.

“We’re one of the country’s best kept secrets; three out of every four dairy cows grazing on New Zealand dairy farms are sired by our bulls and each year our genetics, information and R&D enable Kiwi dairy farmers to be amongst the most efficient and prosperous in the world.

“LIC has doubled its revenue under the leadership of the current CEO Mark Dewdney to around $170 million per year.

“The Cooperative is positioned on yet another cusp of innovation and growth and it’s an exciting time to be welcoming Wayne to take the reins as we deliver yet more innovation to our dairy farmers.”

As Director-General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry since November 2010, McNee led the merger of MAF, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority and the Ministry of Fisheries to form the Ministry for Primary Industries last year.

He went on to lead the development and implementation of MPI’s strategy with its vision of growing and protecting New Zealand. The primary focus of that strategy is to double the exports of New Zealand’s primary industries by 2025.

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