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John Roche

Prof. John Roche

John was appointed Chief Science Adviser to New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries in June 2018 to provide independent and strategic science advice to the Director-General and to provide leadership in the wider ministry science areas. John also Chairs the independent Mycoplasma bovis Strategic Science Advisory Group, set up to help accelerate eradication, and the Kauri Dieback Strategic Science Advisory Group, which focuses on the science needed to protect New Zealand’s iconic Kauri tree.

He is also an Adjunct Professor in University of Auckland’s, School of Biological Sciences and leads interactions between the Ministry and science providers domestically and internationally. In August 2022, John took on the additional role of Director, On Farm Support with the Ministry, to establish an on-the-ground support service for farmers and growers to help them navigate information, investigate opportunities, and access advice.

John has an Honours degree in Agricultural Science, a Masters in Farm Systems and Pasture Management, and a PhD in Animal Nutrition. He was previously DairyNZ’s Principal Scientist for Animal Science. He’s also held science appointments with Teagasc Moorepark, the Department of Primary Industries in Australia, and the University of Tasmania. He is also Managing Director of Down to Earth Advice Ltd.