State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today announced five public service chief executive appointments. 

The appointments are a result of vacancies that will occur over the next 12 months.

Mr Hughes said he decided to deal with the vacancies as a package to remove uncertainty and maintain momentum in key roles and portfolios.

Under the State Sector Act 1988, a vacancy or impending vacancy for a chief executive role can be filled in one of three ways: reappointment of an incumbent, transfer from one department to another or by advertising the role and seeking applications for appointment to it.

“These appointments will be made by transfer,” said Mr Hughes.

“This approach ensures we retain strong, experienced leadership and continue to drive important transformation programmes underway across the Public Service. Stability of leadership is a critical component of delivering the promised changes.”

The following chief executives have been appointed to new roles:

  • Following the end of Helene Quilter’s term, which has been extended through to 30 June 2019, as Secretary of Defence and Chief Executive, Ministry of Defence. Mr Andrew Bridgman, currently Secretary for Justice and Chief Executive, Ministry of Justice, has been appointed Secretary of Defence and Chief Executive, Ministry of Defence, for five years from 1 July 2019.
  • Mr Andrew Kibblewhite, who is currently Chief Executive, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, has been appointed Secretary for Justice and Chief Executive, Ministry of Justice for five years from 1 February 2019.
  • Mr Brook Barrington, currently Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Chief Executive, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has been appointed Chief Executive, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, for five years from 1 February 2019.
  • Following the retirement of Mr Martyn Dunne, the current Director-General for Primary Industries and Chief Executive, Ministry for Primary Industries, Mr Ray Smith, currently Chief Executive, Department of Corrections, has been appointed Director-General for Primary Industries and Chief Executive, Ministry for Primary Industries for five years from 1 November 2018.
  • Following the decision of current Secretary for Internal Affairs and Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, Mr Colin MacDonald to step down and pursue new opportunities, Mr Paul James, currently Chief Executive, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, has been appointed Secretary for Internal Affairs and Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs for five years from 1 October 2018.

“I am very pleased to announce these appointments, all of which involve very important roles for New Zealand and the Public Service,” said Mr Hughes.

Mr Hughes thanked the three chief executives who will be finishing up in their roles.

“Colin MacDonald is stepping down as Secretary for Internal Affairs, to pursue new opportunities,” said Mr Hughes. “I have huge respect and admiration for Colin, who has made a significant contribution in a number of senior leadership roles since joining the Public Service in 2001 after a notable career in the private sector. I thank him for his service.

“Martyn Dunne will retire after 50 years of public service. Martyn has held a number of notable roles, including a distinguished military career, two years as New Zealand High Commissioner to Australia and the last five years as Director-General of Primary Industries. I thank him for his dedication, his leadership and his service.

“Helene Quilter is leaving at the end of her term as Secretary of Defence and Chief Executive, Ministry of Defence. She was the first woman appointed to this role and she has done an outstanding job in the last six years. Helene started her public service career in the late 1970s and her contribution and leadership have been immense.”

The following consequential vacancies will be advertised and filled over the next twelve months.

  • Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Chief Executive, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Chief Executive, Department of Corrections
  • Chief Executive, Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Ends

Media queries: Grahame Armstrong 021 940 457

Explanatory notes for editors

Chief executives are appointed for a term of not more than 5 years and can be reappointed for a second subsequent term. The maximum a chief executive can serve in the same role is usually limited to eight years. 

The State Services Commissioner is able to use a combination of recruitment, reappointment and transfer mechanisms to strengthen the overall chief executive cohort. With vacancies the Commissioner can:

  • appoint a new CE into the role
  • reappoint the current CE
  • transfer an existing CE into the role, and;
  • appoint an Acting CE into the role (used to cover vacancies for more limited periods or between appointments).

The provision enabling the Commissioner to transfer CEs between agencies is relatively new and is provided for in the State Sector Act 1988 through an amendment to the Act in 2013.

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