We are pleased to advise our speakers to conference below, please check back for updates.

Marieke Soeter is a Hazardous Substance Advisor – Ecotoxicology at the Environmental Protection Authority. She has a BSc and a MSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. During her Bachelor studies, she focussed on Ecology and Evolution and became interested in the effects of anthropogenic contaminants in the environment. Her MSc focussed on ecotoxicology and microbial ecology. Research topics included: • micro-evolution triggered by heavy metal pollution • environmental effects of alternative flame retardants, and • the effects of invasive species on the environmental fate of several anthropogenic contaminants. • Efficiency of sewage treatment methods After her MSc Marieke joined the Leibniz-Institute für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei in Germany to work in a large-scale mesocosm facility. She then returned to the Netherlands and worked for a contract research organisation specialising in the ecotoxicology and environmental fate studies used for the registration of chemicals in several regulatory frameworks including Europe, USA and Japan. In January 2016 Marieke moved to New Zealand and the Environmental Protection Authority.

Dr. Trevor Jones is a forestry scientist at Plant & Food Research in Palmerston North. He works in the poplar and willow breeding programme for the New Zealand Poplar & Willow Research Trust, and has assisted Trees for Bees with the selection of willows for bee nutrition in spring. Currently he is involved in the Sustainable Farming Fund project ‘Management of Giant Willow Aphid’.

Rachelle Linwood BVSc. MBA. Director Market Access Policy & Trade Branch New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries   The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is responsible for New Zealand’s biosecurity, food safety and animal welfare systems. MPI’s Standards Branch is tasked with developing and reviewing import, export and domestic standards and systems for the primary product and food sectors. These standards cover biosecurity, food safety and animal welfare, and include the development of systems and processes to support export assurances. As Director Market Access, Rachelle is accountable for interactions with counter-part Competent Authorities regarding Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) arrangements and related technical conditions for trade in primary products and food (import and export), along with the official assurance systems required to support that trade. Rachelle is also accountable for ensuring the effectiveness and integrity of MPI’s regulatory systems and official assurance programmes through the operation of structured monitoring programmes and a systems audit regime within New Zealand and in exporting countries. The Market Assurance directorate acts as the focal point for reviews/audits of MPI regulatory systems and official assurance programmes by importing country Competent Authorities. Rachelle has been with the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, and predecessor organisations, for over 10 years. She is currently Director of Market Access Feb – Jun 2017. Prior to this role Rachelle was Manager Market Access North Asia, looking after New Zealand primary industries exports to North Asia and has been heavily involved in honey exports to China.  

Stuart Fraser.  The first year of ApiNZ Board Market Sector activities has been extremely busy for Stuart with a wide range of responsibilities including the establishment of the Māori Engagement Focus group, Skills for Jobs Focus group and working with the NZ Police to combat Hive theft.   The great part of being involved in developing these new professional areas of ApiNZ, is uncovering the depth of talent and thinking within the industry – we are in a really good place with a high degree of quality and interest from member’s supportive activities.   The best part of attending the Regional Hub meetings and Field days is the learning experience that you get from members who share so generously.   Stuart’s current range of daily activities takes him anywhere from Apiculture through to Organic Farming across New Zealand so don’t be surprised to share a coffee sometime in your local. For a bit of fun he’s keen on sports music and spending time with his very patient family.   There’s a large workload in front of us, and together, as we all lend a shoulder to the wheel, we can move through issues that face us an industry, in a way the demonstrates unity and professionalism.

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