The Department of Corrections (Ara Poutama Aotearoa) 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. The Chief Executive of Ara Poutama Aotearoa is responsible for an appropriation of approximately $2.2 billion.  The Department employs nearly 10,000 people who work in 17 prisons and over 140 Community Corrections sites, and the Department oversees one privately run prison.

The Chief Executive is responsible for the day‐to‐day running of the Ara Poutama Aotearoa.  This includes responsibility for ensuring the corrections system operates in accordance with the purposes set out in the Corrections Act 2004; providing administrative support to the New Zealand Parole Board; and contracting with a wide range of commercial and community organisations for the provision of infrastructure, programmes, and services.

We are looking for a highly experienced leader to be the next Chief Executive, Ara Poutama Aotearoa.  The Chief Executive will lead work at a system level to address systemic issues and to realise opportunities to achieve the Government’s priority of healthier, safer and more connected communities.  This will include contributing to Te Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata, the Government’s justice reform agenda. 

The Chief Executive will be responsible for managing prison capacity pressures and the increasingly complex needs of the prison population.  They will ensure the Department provides rehabilitation and reintegration services that address offenders’ mental health, addiction, education, employment and housing needs.

Excellent leadership by Public Service chief executives is essential to high performing departments and a high performing Public Service.  Chief executives are required to work collaboratively in a spirit of service and strive towards the overall goal of a system of world class, professional State Services, serving the Government of the day, and meeting the needs of all New Zealanders.

For further information or a confidential discussion about this position, please contact Kirsten Henderson at Fisher Leadership on +64 21 616 341.

Applications must be submitted to by 22 September 2019.

If you think that you are the right person for this vital role, an application pack can be downloaded from

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