The State Services Commissioner, Iain Rennie, announced today that he had accepted the resignation of Christopher Blake, Chief Executive and Secretary of Labour at the Department of Labour. He is leaving the Department to take up the position of Chief Executive at the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of next year.

“Chris has been a senior and distinguished Public Service chief executive for twenty years. He has made a significant and lasting contribution to the State Services.

“We have been talking for some time about the next phase in his career and the opportunity to lead the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is one to which he is ideally suited.

“As the foundation chief executive of what is now the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, it is fitting that Chris, an accomplished composer and musician, goes on to lead one of New Zealand’s most important cultural organizations,” Iain Rennie said.

Mr Blake has been chief executive of five Public Service departments. He was the chief executive of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs (now Culture and Heritage) when it was established in 1991, and subsequently was chief executive of the Ministry of Housing, the National Library and the Departments of Internal Affairs and Labour.

Prior to joining the Public Service, Mr Blake had leadership roles in a number of organizations in the cultural sector, including managing Radio New Zealand Concert and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Mr Blake’s last day at the Department of Labour will be on 23 December, 2011. The State Services Commissioner will announce an acting chief executive closer to the time of Mr Blake’s departure.

ENDS
Contact: Jason Ryan 04 495-2850 or 027 244 7081

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