Trade and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor is welcoming the election of New Zealand's candidate, Dr John Barker, as Director General of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) at a meeting this evening in Spain.
"This is a very good day for our wine industry. Dr Barker's election marks the first time a New Zealander - and indeed someone from the Southern Hemisphere - has held this position in this influential body," Damien O'Connor said.
"Wine is New Zealand's fifth largest goods export item, currently worth more than $2.3 billion per year as at February 2023, up 22% over the previous year - with the value of exports increasing faster than the growth in volumes.
"New Zealand's membership in the OIV gives us the opportunity to identify and influence strategic global debates in areas affecting one of our most successful and fastest growing export industries.
"Dr Barker's election is a reflection of both his personal qualities and qualifications for the role, and of the high regard in which New Zealand's wine industry is held globally."
The OIV is an inter-governmental organisation which issues recommendations on viticulture and winemaking practices. Its headquarters are in Dijon, France, and it has 49 Member States. It plays an important role in helping to facilitate trade through establishing relevant technical standards for wine and wine products.
"Dr Barker understands the challenges and opportunities that face the organisation and the wine sector. He has a deep knowledge of the history and traditions of the sector, as well has having both the vision and the competence to ensure that the OIV can fulfil its role as the trusted vine and wine reference body for a rapidly changing market," Damien O'Connor said.
"The Government supported Dr Barker's successful campaign to be OIV Director General, which is a clear signal of our commitment to our wine industry and an organisation that is critical to the way wine is regulated in our key export markets."
Dr Barker will take up the position of OIV Director General on 1 January 2024.