System leaders are responsible for leading across the Public Service to lift collective performance and achieve collective goals. 

Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui | Public Service Leadership Team (PSLT) is made up of Public Service secretaries, chief executives and deputy Public Service commissioners. Collectively, they provide strategic leadership that contributes to an effective and cohesive Public Service.  

To strengthen leadership across the system, secretaries, and chief executives also hold additional roles to lead and co-ordinate best practice in particular areas of the Public Service on behalf of the team. The purpose of these roles is to ensure sufficient alignment where there are commonalities across agencies, better organise the system around shared priorities and services and help the Public Service operate as a unified whole.

These roles include:

Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui | Public Service Leadership Team 

Find out more about each leader and organisation: 

Current Public Service leaders

New Zealand’s central government organisations

Kaiārahi rāngaiSystem leads

System leads are appointed under the Public Service Act 2020. System leads build on the roles of functional leads and heads of profession by encouraging a more centralised way of working with the ability to lead and co-ordinate best practice across a particular area of the public service.  

Seven system leads have been appointed across the Public Service.

Information Security Lead 

The Information Security Lead sets foundational information security controls for information held within IT system that departments must follow and use performance controls to support prioritisation of digital investment to lift information security across government.  

  • Andrew Hampton, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Te Tira Tiaki | Director-General of the Communications Security Bureau and Chief Executive

    Te Tira Tiaki | Government Communications Security Bureau

    Andrew is Director-General of Te Tira Tiaki Government Communications Security Bureau and the Government Chief Information Security Officer. Prior to joining the GCSB, Andrew held senior positions in the justice sector including Director of the Office of Treaty Settlements, Deputy Secretary for Courts, and Deputy Chief Executive at the Crown Law Office.

     

     

    Appointed

    April 2016

    Sectors

    National security

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Information security lead

    Website

    gcsb.govt.nz

Procurement Lead and Property Lead 

The Procurement Lead is responsible for strengthening leadership and oversight of suppliers and agencies in key procurement sectors. A core part of this role is helping to ensure that agencies collaborate around sourcing and purchasing common goods and services. 

The Property Lead manages the portfolio for government office accommodation and manages the pipeline of work. This leader sets the strategic direction for a standardised approach to property that Public Service agencies then follow to ensure we are aligned in how we are organised to work. 

Data Lead 

The Data Lead directs agencies to collect data where this is beneficial across the system, and set standards on collection and storage of data. Agencies engage the data lead on proposed data initiatives to ensure alignment in the use of information. 

  • Mark Sowden, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Tatauranga Aotearoa | Government Statistician and Chief Executive

    Tatauranga Aotearoa | Stats NZ

    Mark is Government Statistician and Chief Executive of Tatauranga Aotearoa Stats NZ. He also holds the role as Government Chief Data Steward, supporting government to realise the potential of data to improve wellbeing, while maintaining and building trust in its use. Mark’s previous roles include Deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Deputy Chief Executive at Stats NZ.

     

    Appointed

    January 2020

    Sectors

    Central agencies

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Functional Lead (Chief Data Steward)

    Digital Government Leadership Group 

    Website

    stats.govt.nz

Service Transformation Lead 

The Service Transformation Lead focuses on how we align and deliver services to common customers using digital technology. 

  • Peter Mersi, Kaikōmihana o Te Tari Taake | Commissioner of Inland Revenue and Chief Executive

    Te Tari Taake | Inland Revenue Department

    Peter is the Commissioner and Chief Executive of Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue. He was previously COVID-19 system leader, on secondment from his substantive role as Secretary for Transport and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Transport, a position he held since 2016. He also previously served as Chief Executive, Land Information New Zealand, and Acting Secretary for Internal Affairs, Department of Internal Affairs. Before his chief executive roles, Peter was a Deputy Commissioner at Inland Revenue and a Deputy Secretary at the Treasury for 7 years.

     Appointed

    July 2022

    Sectors

    Business

    Social

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Website

    ird.govt.nz

Digital Lead 

The Digital Lead drives implementation of the Digital Public Service Strategy, which influences how the Public Service uses technology. They lead the development of shared digital process and infrastructure which agencies can then adopt. 

Regional Lead 

The Regional Lead focuses on how the Public Service organises, aligns, and delivers services in the regions and how the regions stay connected to national priorities.  

Public Service in the regions

  • Debbie Power, Te Tumu Whakarae mō te Whakahiato Ora | Secretary for Social Development and Chief Executive

    Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development

    Debbie is Secretary for Social Development and Chief Executive of Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora Ministry of Social Development. She began her career on the frontline of the Public Service when she was 16 years old. Since then she has held a range of senior roles at Ministry of Social Development including Deputy Chief Executive, Service Delivery; Deputy Chief Executive, Office of the Chief Executive; and Regional Commissioner, Northland. She was previously the Statutory Deputy State Services Commissioner at the then State Services Commission (now Public Service Commission).

    Appointed

    February 2019

    Sectors

    Housing

    Populations and communities

    Social

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Regional lead

    Website

    msd.govt.nz

Kaiārahi mahiFunctional leads

Functional leads take leadership of organisational functions that are common across the Public Service. They are designated by the Public Service Commissioner and are intended to secure efficiencies and consistency across the Public Service in these areas. The leads provide guidance and support to agencies to help them improve capability, and to improve alignment of agency investments and work programmes.  

We currently have 4 functional leads, in addition to those that have been designated as system leads under the Public Service Act 2020.

Government Protective Security Lead

  • Rebecca Kitteridge CVO, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Te Pā Whakamarumaru | Director-General of Security and Chief Executive

    Te Pā Whakamarumaru | New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

    Rebecca is Director-General of Security at Te Pā Whakamarumaru New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. Rebecca came to the NZSIS after roles as Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC). She served under 4 prime ministers and 4 governors-general in her roles in DPMC.

     

     

    Appointed

    May 2014

    Sectors

    National security

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Website

    nzsis.govt.nz

Health and Safety Lead

Diversity and Inclusion Leads

  • Gaye Searancke, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Toitū Te Whenua | Secretary for Land Information and Chief Executive

    Toitū Te Whenua | Land Information New Zealand

    Gaye is Secretary for Land Information and Chief Executive of Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand. Previously, Gaye was Deputy Commissioner at Inland Revenue and has held senior leadership roles at ACC, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

     

     

    Appointed

    August 2019

    Sectors

    Business

    Environment

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Te Pae Aramahi Whakahaere Operations Development Board Chair

    Website

    linz.govt.nz

  • Peter Mersi, Kaikōmihana o Te Tari Taake | Commissioner of Inland Revenue and Chief Executive

    Te Tari Taake | Inland Revenue Department

    Peter is the Commissioner and Chief Executive of Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue. He was previously COVID-19 system leader, on secondment from his substantive role as Secretary for Transport and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Transport, a position he held since 2016. He also previously served as Chief Executive, Land Information New Zealand, and Acting Secretary for Internal Affairs, Department of Internal Affairs. Before his chief executive roles, Peter was a Deputy Commissioner at Inland Revenue and a Deputy Secretary at the Treasury for 7 years.

     Appointed

    July 2022

    Sectors

    Business

    Social

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Website

    ird.govt.nz

Regulatory Stewardship Lead

  • Dr Caralee McLiesh PSM, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Te Tai Ōhanga | Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Executive

    Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury

    Caralee is Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Executive of Te Tai Ōhanga the Treasury. Previously she worked as Managing Director at Technical and Further Education, New South Wales (NSW) and held several deputy secretary roles at the NSW Treasury. Caralee has also worked at the World Bank in Washington DC, the International Red Cross and the Boston Consulting Group.

     

     

    Appointed

    September 2019

    Sectors

    Central agencies

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Website

    treasury.govt.nz

Upoko rōpū ngaioHeads of profession

Heads of profession provide leadership of professional groups across the Public Service. This includes convening professional networks, building capability through professional development, and providing best-practice guidance for members of the profession. Heads of profession are designated by the Public Service Commissioner. Some heads of profession are secretaries of departments, while others are held by second tier leaders with closer affiliations to the profession. 

Current heads of profession include: 

Policy

  • Brook Barrington, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Te Tari o te Pirīmia me te Komiti Matua | Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Chief Executive

    Te Tari o te Pirīmia me te Komiti Matua | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

    Brook is Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Chief Executive of Te Tari o te Pirimia me te Komiti Matua Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Prior to this, he was Chief Executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Brook has undertaken diplomatic postings in Canberra and Brussels, and was New Zealand’s Ambassador to Thailand. He has also held deputy chief executive positions at the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice.

     

    Appointed

    February 2019

    Sectors 

    Central agencies

    Emergency 

    National security

    Social

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui | Public Service Leadership Team

    Te Pae Aramahi Kaupapa Here | Policy Development Board Chair

    Website

    dpmc.govt.nz

Legal (statutory role)

Finance

Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury 

Internal Audit and Risk Assurance

Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education

Communications

Manatū Ahu Matua | Ministry for Primary Industries

Kaiārahi tauporiPopulation leads

Population leads ensure public services are meeting the needs of specific groups of the population and provide leadership across work that is targeted at those population groups. In this role, population leads act as the principal policy advisor for government on their specific population group. There are 5 population leads across the Public Service. 

  • Dave Samuels, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Te Puni Kōkiri | Secretary for Māori Development and Chief Executive

    Te Puni Kōkiri – Ministry of Māori Development

    Dave (Waikato-Tainui, Te Whakatōhea) is Secretary for Māori Development and Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri. Prior to this role, Dave was growing trade and market access in New Zealand’s primary industries in the Middle East and Asia and also lead the Policy unit at Te Puni Kōkiri. His career began as an infantry officer in the New Zealand Army.

     

     

    Appointed

    September 2019

    Sectors

    Populations and communities

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Māori Crown Relations

    Website

    tpk.govt.nz

  • Laulu Mac Leauanae, Te Tumu Whakarae mō ngā Iwi o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa | Secretary for Pacific Peoples and Chief Executive

    Te Manatū mō Ngā Iwi ō te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa | Ministry for Pacific Peoples

    Laulu is Secretary for Pacific Peoples and Chief Executive of Te Manatū mō Ngā Iwi ō te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa Ministry for Pacific Peoples. Prior to this, he held roles as Chief Executive at Pacific Cooperation Foundation, General Manager at Pure Pacifika Limited, and Pacific Health Manager at ProCare Health Limited. 

     

     

    Appointed

    July 2017

    Sectors

    Populations and communities

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Website

    mpp.govt.nz

  • Kellie Coombes, Te Tumu Whakarae mō te Wahine | Secretary for Women and Chief Executive

    Manatū Wāhine | Ministry for Women

    Kellie is Secretary for Women and Chief Executive of Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women. Kellie was previously Deputy Commissioner, System & Agency Performance Kaikōmihana Tuarua, Te Aromātai Whakatutukitanga at Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission and has held a number of senior leadership roles across the Public Service.

     

     

    Appointed

    June 2021

    Sectors

    Populations and communities

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui Public Service Leadership Team

    Website

    women.govt.nz

  • Mervin Singham, Te Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive, Te Tari Mātāwaka | Ministry for Ethnic Communities

    Te Tari Mātāwaka | Ministry for Ethnic Communities

    Mervin is Chief Executive of Te Tari Mātāwaka Ministry for Ethnic Communities. Previously he led the Office of Ethnic Affairs and was Executive Director of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions. Mervin has worked in several senior leadership roles at the Department of Internal Affairs, as Chief Mediator at the Human Rights Commission and as Complaints Manager at the Office of the Race Relations Conciliator.

     Appointed

    June 2021

    Sectors

    Populations and communities

    Leadership groups

    Te Ohu Tumu Whakarae i te Ratonga Tūmatanui  | Public Service Leadership Team

    Website

    ethniccommunities.govt.nz

  • Paula Tesoriero MNZM, Te Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive, Whaikaha | Ministry of Disabled People

    Whaikaha | Ministry of Disabled People

    Paula is Chief Executive of Whaikaha — Ministry of Disabled People. Previously Paula held the position of Disability Rights Commissioner and Acting Chief Human Rights Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission. Prior to this she was General Manager, System and Partnerships at Stats NZ, General Manager, High Courts at the Ministry of Justice, and Manager, Service Design at the Ministry of Justice. Paula has served in various governance roles including as Deputy Chair of Peke Waihanga — Artificial Limb Service and Deputy Chair of Nuku Ora (previously Sport Wellington) and she served on the Board of Paralympics NZ. She is a life trustee of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation and is an honorary advisor to the Asia New Zealand Foundation. Paula is also a Paralympian, winning a gold medal and 2 bronze medals at the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games in Beijing.

    Appointed

    August 2022

    Sector

    Populations and communities

    Website

    whaikaha.govt.nz

Kaiārahi rāngaiSector leads

Sector leads provide leadership across groups of agencies with common areas of work, often referred to as sectors. For example, the Ministries of Health, Education and Justice all have roles in leading across their respective sectors. A list of the different Public Service sectors is available on the Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service website.

Public Service sectors

Ngā pokapū Central agencies

Central agencies provide leadership in the core areas of the operation of our public sector as a whole, including our workforce and organisations, public finance system, the government’s policy programme, and the Crown’s relationships with Māori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi | the Treaty of Waitangi. There are 4 central agencies.   

Central agencies

  • Te Kawa Mataaho | Public Service Commission

    The Public Service Commission provides leadership and oversight of the Public Service, ensuring that it works as one system to deliver better services and better outcomes for the public. It is responsible for appointing Public Service chief executives, issuing a code of conduct for public servants and supporting the performance of the Public Service.

    Sectors

    Central agencies

    Leader

    Peter Hughes CNZM, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Te Kawa Mataaho | Public Service Commissioner, Head of Service

    Current Public Service Leaders

    Leadership groups

    Public Service Leadership Team

    Māori Crown Relations

    Development Board (Chair)

    Website

    publicservice.govt.nz

  • Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury

    Te Tai Ōhanga – The Treasury is the lead economic and financial adviser to the Government and steward of the public sector financial management and regulatory systems. The Treasury’s vision is to lift living standards for all New Zealanders. It provides advice to the Government on its overarching economic framework and fiscal strategy and how to achieve value for money from its investments. It is also responsible for publishing financial statements and economic and fiscal forecasts and ensuring effective management of the Crown’s assets and liabilities.

    Sectors

    Central agencies

    Leader

    Dr Caralee McLiesh PSM, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Te Tai Ōhanga | Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Executive

    Current Public Service Leaders

    Leadership groups

    Public Service Leadership Team

    Website

    treasury.govt.nz

  • Te Tari o te Pirimia me te Komiti Matua | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

    The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) provides impartial advice and support services to the Prime Minister, Cabinet, and the Governor-General. It ensures ministers and Cabinet are supported by timely, well-informed advice. Its work helps the Public Service be more proactive and responsive to the people of New Zealand.

    Sectors

    Central agencies

    Emergency

    National security

    Social

    Leader

    Brook Barrington, Te Tumu Whakarae mō Te Tari o te Pirimia me te Komiti Matua | Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Chief Executive

    Current Public Service Leaders

    Leadership groups

    Public Service Leadership Team

    Website

    dpmc.govt.nz

  • Te Arawhiti | Office for Māori Crown Relations

    Te Arawhiti works to make the Public Service a better Treaty partner, able to engage effectively with Māori on a range of issues. It provides support and guidance for effective relationships between Māori and the Public Service. Its work on current and historical Treaty settlements helps to ensure the commitments in Treaty settlements endure.

    Sectors

    Central agencies

    Leader

    Glenn Webber, Te Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive

    Current Public Service Leaders

    Leadership groups

    Public Service Leadership Team

    Māori Crown Relations

    Website

    tearawhiti.govt.nz