Dr Jim Walker was recognised by Horticulture New Zealand for his significant contributions to the sector at an awards ceremony at the inaugural Horticulture Conference Week, held in Christchurch.
Jim received the HortNZ’s Industry Service Award, awarded for a standout contribution to the development of the horticulture industry.
Over his 45-year career, Jim has driven significant change in the sector, using his scientific expertise to develop innovative tools and techniques for managing pests and diseases, which have helped position New Zealand as a competitive and top-quality fruit growing nation.
Jim first joined DSIR as a scientist in the Entomology division in 1978. He has held many different roles relating to crop protection research since then and he is currently a principal scientist in the Ecological Pest Management group at Plant & Food Research.
Based at Plant & Food’s Hawke’s Bay site, his findings and work have led to or contributed to the publication of around 80 scientific papers and more than 100 other publications.
Over his career Jim has provided independent scientific advice to the Ministry for Primary Industries on export phytosanitary measures and in 2010 he was part of the New Zealand delegation that attended a hearing before the World Trade Organisation’s Appellate Body in Switzerland, to successfully challenge Australia’s ban on the import of New Zealand apples.
Jim’s long-standing industry relationships and widely acknowledged expertise resulted in his taking on an industry liaison role for Plant & Food Research in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, an event that has had devastating impacts on many members of the horticultural community. He is amongst those determined to see the sector recover and build back even better and has supported the roll-out of timely scientific advice to help growers with management decisions and identify research initiatives to aid the sector’s recovery long-term.
Source: Plant & Food Research