High number of public service CEO jobs vacant

19:55, Jun 06 2011
Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes
Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes

An unprecedented number of chief executive positions in the public service are vacant this year, leaving scope for dynamic rising stars to make their mark, the report says.

Ministries without a permanent chief executive are Customs, Social Development, Education, Justice, and the Government Communications Security Bureau. The Treasury has now made an acting appointment.

Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes will leave the job after nearly 10 years in September and Education Ministry boss Karen Sewell is retiring after a lifetime in the education sector.

Also leaving is the Justice Ministry's Belinda Clark who has accepted a job heading the Tertiary Education Commission.

The Government Communications Security Bureau has lost Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae who will be moving on to become governor-general.

The Trans-Tasman report, to be released tomorrow, draws attention to a group of civil servants who are likely to be rising stars in the future.

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It also says the State Services Commission will have to attract high-achieving expatriate New Zealanders to return to head key agencies.

"The public sector in the new era needs chief executives who have the flexibility to work with non-government organisations, iwi and private sector providers where public services are being delivered in ways differently and more effectively than the traditional."

Earlier this year, State Services commissioner Iain Rennie said a deeper pool of talented leaders was needed for a new era of public service.

"From time to time, you'll go through phases where you're refreshing the leadership of the public service and that's the sort of phase we're going through now. It means we're doing a lot more appointments than we would have expected to."

Mr Rennie said getting someone from overseas, Kiwi or otherwise, was the best hope to fill at least some of the chief executive vacancies.

The Dominion Post