Publish: 26 November 2019

The State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today announced the appointment of Mrs Lilian (Lil) Anderson to the position of Chief Executive (Tumu Whakarae), The Office for Māori Crown Relations - Te Arawhiti 

Te Arawhiti is a new agency established in January this year. Its purpose is to support Ministerial and government priorities for advancing the Māori-Crown relationship, with a focus on maximising future opportunities for Aotearoa through genuine partnerships with Māori in a post-Treaty settlement era.

The Commissioner said the Tumu Whakarae, Te Arawhiti, is a very important role for Māori, the public service and New Zealand.

“I am very pleased to announce Mrs Anderson’s appointment,” said Mr Hughes.

“She is an accomplished leader with a solid understanding of the public service and te ao Māori. She has extensive Māori and community networks, a deep understanding of the Māori Crown journey and the personal attributes to be a compelling system leader.” 

Mrs Anderson is currently the acting Tumu Whakarae, Te Arawhiti, a role she has been in since the departmental agency came into force on 1 January 2019. 

Mrs Anderson has held senior leadership roles in Māori Crown relations across the public service, including with the Ministry of Justice, Te Puni Kōkiri and the Office of Treaty Settlements. In her early career she learned from Māori leaders of the day, working directly with Māori communities through the Crown Forestry Rental Trust and the New Zealand Māori Council. In these roles, Mrs Anderson developed her ability to navigate complexity within Māori and public sector environments.

Mr Hughes said Mrs Anderson has a proven track record of policy leadership across a range of Māori-specific initiatives designed to improve outcomes for hapū, iwi, and whānau Māori.

Mrs Anderson grew up in Panguru, Hokianga and is of Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi descent. She has been appointed for five years from 2 December.


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Since January this year Mrs Anderson has been Acting Chief Executive at The Office for Māori Crown Relations - Te Arawhiti.

From 2017 to 2018, she was Ministry of Justice Deputy Secretary – Treaty

Before this, from 2015 to 2016, Mrs Anderson was Chief Advisor and Deputy Chief Executive - Policy at Te Puni Kōkiri.

Between 2010 and 2015 she was Settlements Chief Advisor and Deputy Director, Office of Treaty Settlements.

From 2004 to 2010 Mrs Anderson was a Senior Analyst and Manager at the Office of Treaty Settlements.

From 1996 to 2004 she served in a number of roles, including manager, at the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.

She started her career in 1993 at the New Zealand Māori Council.

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