1 Jul 2013

New trade envoy looks to TPP

9:26 am on 1 July 2013

The Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are the priority for New Zealand's new special agricultural trade envoy.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand chairman Mike Petersen, a central Hawke's Bay farmer, will take over the job next week from Alistair Polson who's has been in the role since 2005.

Mike Petersen says working with farmer groups from other countries involved in the TPP negotiations will be a key part of getting a good outcome for agricultural trade.

"Now that we've got Japan entering those talks, that's a huge opportunity. And of course the Asia-Pacific region is the growth region around the world, and that's where the Trans-Pacific Partnership is going to play a key role."

Asked about Japan's trade protectionist stance, Mr Peterson said there had been a sea-change and the talk coming out of Japan is positive and enthusiastic about being involved with the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Mr Petersen says he'll be stepping down as chair of Beef + Lamb New Zealand in March next year when his term ends.