Senior leadership team

MPI's senior leadership team oversees the ministry's strategic direction.

Martyn Dunne


Martyn Dunne
Martyn Dunne

Martyn took up the role of Director-General in November 2013.

Before this appointment, he was New Zealand's High Commissioner to Australia – a role in which he was responsible for managing a range of trade issues with one of our most important trading partners. He was also the Chief Executive/Comptroller of the New Zealand Customs Service from 2004 to 2011. During his time at Customs, he was elected Chair of the World Customs Organisation – the largest international organisation responsible for setting global customs, trade security, and customs operating standards.

Until 2004, Martyn served as an officer in the New Zealand Army for 27 years, including service with the Special Air Service (SAS). He commanded the deployment of New Zealand Forces in East Timor from 1999–2001 and was subsequently responsible for the establishment of a single New Zealand Joint Forces Command in the rank of Major General.

Martyn 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 a graduate of the Australian Army Command and Staff College, Fort Queenscliffe. He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.

Deborah Roche

Deputy Director-General – Policy and Trade

Deborah Roche - Deputy Director-General Policy and Trade
Deborah Roche

Deborah Roche joined as the Deputy Director-General Policy in late February 2013. Before joining MPI, Deborah was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for 18 months, where she was the advisor on State Services, Better Public Services, Defence, and Sport and Recreation. She remains a member of the Officials Committee on Economic Growth and Infrastructure.

Deborah's previous roles included Deputy Director-General Strategy and Systems Performance at the Ministry of Health and Deputy Director Strategy at the Department of Health in the United Kingdom.

She also ran the health and social care section of a leading UK think tank, guest lectured at the London School of Economics, and before this was a sports physiotherapist.

Deborah holds an MSc (London School of Economics), MAppSc (University of South Australia), CertTT (Waikato Polytechnic), and a DipPhys (Auckland Institute of Technology).

Roger Smith

Chief Operations Officer

Roger Smith - Chief Operations Officer
Roger Smith

Roger leads MPI’s Operations branch with responsibility for delivering border clearance services, incursion diagnostics, surveillance, response management, compliance, intelligence, operational planning and national coordination.

Roger joined the organisation in 2011 as Deputy Director-General Verification and Systems. In 2014, he was appointed as MPI’s Deputy Director-General China Relations based in Beijing. He took up his current role in January 2017.

With over 30 years' experience in trade and border management, Roger has also previously served in both Brussels and Washington DC.



Bryan Wilson

Deputy Director-General – Regulation and Assurance

Bryan Wilson - Deputy Director-General Regulation and Assurance
Bryan Wilson

Bryan joined the Ministry for Primary Industries in October 2016. Before joining MPI, he held the role of Associate Deputy Chief Executive Community Investment with the Ministry for Social Development.

Bryan’s background is in regulation across a range of industries. He spent two years with Aurizon Network in Brisbane and 10 years in leadership roles within Telecom. He has also held various positions with The Treasury, DPMC, New Zealand Employment Service and Department of Internal Affairs.

Bryan is responsible for all of the Ministry’s regulatory activities and functions, spanning the food safety, biosecurity and primary production systems (including fisheries management and animal welfare).


Ben Dalton

Deputy Director-General – Sector Partnerships and Programmes

Ben Dalton - Deputy Director-General Sector Partnerships and Programmes
Ben Dalton

Ben's early career was in Ōtara and the mid-north working on community development projects. He also operated a portable sawmill, renovated houses, and established a private training establishment.

After completing an MBA at the University of Auckland, he was Executive Trustee at Te Rūnanga A Iwi O Ngāpuhi. Ben was appointed to the Māori Economic Development Commission in 1997.

From 2004 through to 2009, he was chief executive at the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. He is actively involved in the Whānau Ora programme in Ngāpuhi and is on the Northland Rugby League Board.


Tim Knox

Acting Deputy Director-General – China Relations

Tim Knox - Acting Deputy Director-General China Relations
Tim Knox

Tim has over 35 years' experience in biosecurity, food safety, international trade and market access negotiations. He has held a range of senior roles within MPI and its predecessor organisations over that time.

In his substantive role of Director Market Access, Tim leads MPI’s Wellington-based team focussed on maintaining and improving access to international markets for New Zealand’s primary products and food.

During his time in Beijing, Tim will be focussed on continuing to strengthen relationships with our Chinese counterparts, progressing a range of trade and market access initiatives, and leading MPI’s China-based team.


Dan Bolger

Deputy Director-General – Office of the Director-General

Dan Bolger - Deputy Director-General Office of the Director-General
Dan Bolger

Dan first joined the organisation in 1986 as an agricultural economist for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. In his previous role as Deputy Director-General of MAF's Strategy and Performance Group, Dan was responsible for leading MAF's corporate strategy management, organisational planning and performance, internal governance support, risk and assurance, and communications functions.

Dan has an extensive background with MAF's policy team, where he focused on issues affecting the economic performance of agriculture and forestry.




John Ryan

Deputy Director-General – Corporate Services

John Ryan - Deputy Director-General Corporate Services
John Ryan

John previously held the role of Executive Director of Corporate Services for the Capital and Coast, Hutt, and Wairarapa District Health Boards (DHBs).

Before this, he held senior positions in both public and private sectors, including Deputy Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer at the Ministry of Justice. John has also previously undertaken a number of senior CFO and corporate roles.

John is actively involved in the arts and has recently been appointed to the boards of the New Zealand Festival and the Wellington Jazz Festival.



Risk Management Committee

The Risk Management Committee advises the Director-General on the effectiveness of MPI's organisational processes and systems relating to risk management and assurances. The committee is an external group. It is chaired by Geoff Dangerfield (Chief Executive New Zealand Transport Agency). The other members are Peter Sherwin and Dr Allan Freeth.

Images for media use

Media needing high-resolution images of members of the senior leadership team can download these files:

Martyn Dunne [JPG, 535 KB]

Deborah Roche [JPG, 5.3 MB]

Roger Smith [JPG, 1.2 MB]

Bryan Wilson [JPG, 1.5 MB]

Ben Dalton [JPG, 5.6 MB]

Tim Knox [JPG, 169 KB]

Dan Bolger [JPG, 5.6 MB]

John Ryan [JPG, 5.9 MB]

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