Published : 18 February 2020

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the appointment of Mr Jeremy Lightfoot to the position of Chief Executive, Department of Corrections.

The Department of Corrections (Corrections) is New Zealand’s largest public service department, responsible for the management and wellbeing of over 10,000 prisoners and nearly 30,000 community-based offenders. Corrections employs nearly 10,000 people who work in 17 prisons and over 140 Community Corrections sites.

Ms Quilter said the Chief Executive, Corrections, has a vital role in improving and maintaining the safety and wellbeing of the community, and in changing the lives of those within its care.

“I’m very pleased to announce Mr Lightfoot’s appointment,” said Ms Quilter.

“He is an experienced senior leader with a deep understanding of the public sector and justice system. I am confident Mr Lightfoot’s leadership and experience will ensure Corrections continues to deliver for New Zealanders.”

Mr Lightfoot is currently the Acting Chief Executive of Corrections, a role he has held since 21 December 2019. He was also Acting Chief Executive for a period in 2018.  

Ms Quilter said Mr Lightfoot had valuable experience in large, operational leadership roles. Previous leadership roles at Corrections include General Manager Finance Technology and Commercial, National Commissioner and Deputy Chief Executive.

Mr Lightfoot is experienced in leading change and has led a number of initiatives and projects with Māori. He played a critical leadership role in the development and implementation of Hōkai Rangi, the new strategy for Ara Poutama Aotearoa, the Department of Corrections. The strategy reflects a five-year change programme, Hōkai Nuku, to deliver major improvement to the Corrections system. Hōkai Rangi was developed directly with Māori and focuses on changes in the way Corrections’ will develop prison services and its workforce and, work with iwi and community partners. These changes are intended to help meet the government’s priorities to reduce overrepresentation of Māori in prison, improve public safety and reduce re-offending rates overall.

“Mr Lightfoot has a track record of delivery for government on critical strategic programmes and a commitment to shared outcomes,” said Ms Quilter. “He understands the challenges and opportunities facing Corrections, including the need for a partnership approach.”

Mr Lightfoot has a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and Business Management (Hons). He has been appointed for three years from 24 February.

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Media queries: Grahame Armstrong 021 940 457 or grahame.armstrong@ssc.govt.nz

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