State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has announced a raft of senior appointments in New Zealand's public service all at once, with five CEOs bouncing into other ministries.
They include surprise moves by Corrections CEO Ray Smith to head the troubled Ministry for Primary Industries ( MPI ) from November 1, and a move by Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( MFAT ) CEO Brook Barrington to the plum job of Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet ( DPMC ) from February 1 next year. They are replacing CEOs moving to other roles in the public service, or people who had already announced they were retiring or resigning.
Hughes said he decided to announce the package of five new CEOs "to remove uncertainty and maintain momentum in key roles and portfolios". He said the transfers retained strong leadership and stability.
The three other transfers included Justice CEO Andrew Bridgman moving to become Defence CEO from July 1 2019, DPMC CEO Andrew Kibblewhite becoming Justice CEO from February and Culture and Heritage CEO Paul James becoming Internal Affairs CEO from October 1.
The appointments are all for five-year terms. The roles of MFAT CEO, Corrections CEO and Culture and Heritage CEO will now be advertised.
Elsewhere, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland University Professor Juliet Gerrard had been appointed to be the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor from July 1.
She takes over from Sir Peter Gluckman, who has held the role since it was established in 2008 and is retiring.
Gerrard is currently the Associate Dean (Research) at the School of Biological Sciences and School of Chemical Sciences in Auckland University.