Meet the team - introducing Barry O'Neil
Barry is the current Chief Executive of KVH and a biosecurity operational specialist.
He is a Te Puke High School old boy who bought his first orchard at Whakamaramara in 1984 and grew kiwifruit and avocadoes. His career mainly as a government veterinarian at MAF was based in Wellington but he returned to the region in 2012 when he took on the lead role at KVH and when he isn’t in the office finds himself on his six-hectare kiwifruit orchard in Katikati.
Barry led the then Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s emergency response efforts into a number of incursions including Rabbit Calicivirus disease, the Waiheke Island Foot and Mouth disease hoax, along with the initial work for Psa.
Alongside his role at KVH, Barry also sits on four Boards in governance roles, the National Science Challenge “Our Biological Heritage”; The Bio-Protection Research Centre; Horticulture New Zealand; and Scion. This he says reflects the recognition placed by industry leaders on biosecurity risk and the importance of science to contribute answers to our biosecurity challenges.
Barry has announced he will be stepping down from his current role at KVH in March 2018. Before then one of the main priorities for KVH is managing the high-risk summer season for some of kiwifruit’s most unwanted pests, particularly fruit flies and stink bugs.