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New Zealand China Council
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Ray Smith

April 13, 2023

Ray Smith is Director-General at the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), based in Wellington. He leads a team of over 3,500 people across 70 locations in New Zealand and around the world.

MPI works to partner with and enable New Zealand’s primary sector to become the world’s most sustainable provider of high-value food and primary products. Ray is passionate that growing prosperity in our primary sector should not come at the expense of the New Zealand way of life. Kaitiaki – guardianship of our valuable natural resources is critical for the success of our future generations.

As the Functional Lead for Government Health and Safety, Ray is responsible for increasing the capability for smart health and safety practice across the public sector.

Prior to joining MPI, Ray was Chief Executive of Corrections where he delivered a number of targeted initiatives to work with offenders to make communities safer places to live. This expanded on his previous work as Deputy Chief Executive in the Ministry of Social Development and Head of Child, Youth and Family, working with New Zealand’s most vulnerable communities.

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