Ministerial appointments monitor – jobs for the boys (and jobs for the girls, too)

The government makes appointments to 429 state sector boards and committees every year, according to Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa.  This gives Ministers several opportunities to wield power by making appointments or recommending them, creating a perception that appointments are a form of political patronage.

Ministers proudly announce an array of other appointments, such as judges and overseas envoys.

The past week’s announcements include a batch of diplomatic appointments by Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters.  All the jobs have gone to career diplomats.

Associate Justice Minister Jan Logie drew attention to the first day of work for a Māori advisory group – Te Rōpū – which has been appointed to help transform the whole-of-government response to family violence, sexual violence and violence within whānau.

Did we miss a ministerial announcement of the 10 new appointments?

An accompanying document provided us with the names of the interim appointees.

The interim chair is Prue Kapua, president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, who landed another job a few weeks ago when she became one of three new members added to the Waitangi Tribunal.  Tribunal members are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister for Māori Development.

Point of Order’s weekly monitoring of Beehive press statements to learn who has been favoured by ministerial appointments in the past week shows this …

17 DECEMBER 2018

Maritime New Zealand Chair appointed

Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced the appointment of Jo Brosnahan as Chair of the Maritime New Zealand Board for a three year term to 30 June 2021.

Twyford said Brosnahan is a very experienced board member with strong governance and leadership skills who brings a good understanding of the maritime sector and has broad experience working with ports and harbours as the former CEO of Auckland Regional Council and Northland Regional Councils.

Maritime NZ’s core roles are to regulate the maritime sector, promote safety and maintain safety infrastructure, and respond to environmental incidents and emergencies at sea.

17 DECEMBER 2018

Helen Winkelmann appointed Chief Justice of New Zealand 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the Honourable Justice Helen Winkelmann, judge of the Court of Appeal, has been appointed Chief Justice of New Zealand and a Judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand. She will take office on 13 March 2019, succeeding Dame Sian Elias.

The press statement gives us the rundown on her career.  It also explains that judicial appointments are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General, but the Senior Courts Act provides for the Prime Minister to make the recommendation for appointment of the Chief Justice.

There is no statutory process for the appointment. The Solicitor-General Una Jagose QC conducted a consultation process to inform the Prime Minister’s decision, consulting the Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, retired senior Court judges, the New Zealand Law Society, the New Zealand Bar Association and Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aoteroa (the Māori Law Society). That consultation was to determine who was thought to meet the criteria for Chief Justice.

The Solicitor-General then formed a panel comprising Dame Silvia Cartwright, retired High Court judge and former Governor-General and Sir Terence Arnold, retired Supreme Court judge. That panel considered the consultation feedback. The Solicitor-General then provided advice to the Prime Minister to enable her to take a decision to make a recommendation to the Governor-General.

For further information please go to

18 DECEMBER 2018

Dr Hinurewa Poutu appointed to Te Mātāwai Board

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta has appointed Dr Hinurewa Poutu (Ngāti Rangi, Te Āti Haunui a Pāpārangi, Ngāti Maniapoto) to the Board of Te Mātāwai for a three year term.

Dr Poutu brings a rangatahi voice to the Board, the Minister said.  She has led language revitalisation throughout her career including in the te reo Māori sector, particularly working as a producer and presenter for te reo Māori television productions.

Te Mātāwai is an independent statutory body that provides leadership on behalf of iwi and Māori in their role as kaitiaki of the Māori language. The Crown, through Te Matawai, develops Māori language strategies, among other things, to support the revitalisation of te reo.

Poutu is a director of The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation Charitable Trust.  She has been a panel member of Te Ranga Kaupapa Ture, The Constitutional Advisory Panel and a Māori Language Commission commissioner.

18 DECEMBER 2018

Māori advisory group on family violence and sexual violence starts wor

The Māori advisory group to the Government’s joint venture on family violence and sexual violence began its work on this day at its first meeting in Wellington, according to a statement from Associate Justice Minister Jan Logie

The interim group will work in partnership with government Ministers and the joint venture on family violence and sexual violence to develop a national strategy and action plan, and inform enduring arrangements for Māori involvement in the Government’s work in this area.

Interim Te Rōpū appointments are Prue Kapua (chair), Ruahine (Roni) Albert, Ngaropi Cameron,  Ange Chaney, Paora Crawford Moyle, Te Owai Gemmell, Roku Mihinui, Susan Ngawati Osborne,  Russell Smith, Sir Mark Solomon.

Their credentials can be gauged from the other jobs listed beside each name here.

The interim Te Rōpū will monitor the Crown’s performance on family violence and sexual violence, reporting directly to Ministers. It will facilitate Māori views on what and how the Crown needs to operate to ensure improved outcomes for Māori.

More information about the membership of Te Rōpū can be found here.

19 DECEMBER 2018
Health Promotion Agency board appointments announced  

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa announced new appointments to the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) board.

Jenny Black will become the chair while Mafi Funaki-Tahifote, Dr Teuila Percival and Professor Boyd Swinburn will all join the board for a three-year term.

All new members have been long-time champions of healthy eating and healthy living, Sales said.

Board member information:

  • Jenny Black has extensive health sector governance experience. She currently serves as the Chair of DHB Chairs and chairs the DHB executives committee. She is also the Chair of the Nelson Marlborough and West Coast DHBs. She has also worked as a clinical dietician.
  • Dr Teuila Percival is a Consultant Paediatrician at KidzFirst Children’s Hospital & Middlemore Hospital, and Senior Lecturer in the School of Population Health at Auckland University. She has worked as a consultant paediatrician for 25 years, and is a current member of the World Health Organisation Emergency Medical Teams. She has a specific interest in Pacific people’s health, evidenced through her roles as the Deputy Chair on the Pacific Panel for Oranga Tamariki, and as the Director of the Pacifika Medical Association.
  • Mafi Funaki-Tahifote has extensive experience in the health field, having worked for the New Zealand Heart Foundation since 1998. Within this organisation she has held dietetic and managerial roles.  Funaki-Tahifote also has considerable governance experience, currently holding the positions of Chair on the Board for Agencies for Nutrition Action and Co-Chair to the Pacific Island Food and Nutrition Action Group. She has also worked with HPA previously, in her role as a member of the Pacific Advisory Group.
  • Professor Boyd Swinburn is a lecturer at both Deakin University (Melbourne) and Auckland University, and has worked in the academic and research fields for nearly 30 years. He has governance experience as the Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Obesity, Co-Chair of the Policy and Prevention Group of World Obesity, President of the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society, and as the Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Obesity.

20 DECEMBER 2018

New faces on the bench of the Māori Land Court 

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced the appointment of Damian Stone and Terena Wara as Judges of the Māori Land Court and the reappointment of Judge Patrick Savage as an Acting Judge of the Māori Land Court.

Damian Stone was a managing partner at Kāhui Legal and has significant commercial, Māori Land Court and Waitangi Tribunal experience.

Terena Wara was a director at Tū Pono Legal and also has significant experience in both the Māori Land Court and the Waitangi Tribunal.

Judge Patrick Savage has significant experience as a Māori Land Court Judge having served on the bench since 1994.

20 DECEMBER 2018

ACC Board appointments announced

ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced two new appointments to the Board of ACC, the appointments to commence on 1 February 2019.

Dr Tracey Batten has recently settled in New Zealand after spending three years in the UK as Chief Executive of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.  Before that she held Chief Executive roles with three large health providers in Australia.  She is a director of the Australian listed company Medibank and on the boards of Abano Healthcare and NIWA.

John Brabazon is an executive director of Cavell Capital merchant bankers.  He is a director of Dairy Farms NZ Ltd and was previously a director at Auckland International Airport and a number of companies including Hilton Haulage, Brierley Properties Ltd, Apparel Holdings Ltd, Downer Group, Wilson Neill Ltd, and Manukau City Investments.

Lees-Galloway confirmed the continuation of the terms of Chair Dame Paula Rebstock until December next year and directors Kristy McDonald (for six months) and James Miller for (two and a half years) staggered terms.

20 DECEMBER 2018

Prioritising our health workforce

Health Minister David Clark announced changes at Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ).  As part of a Ministry of Health restructure, the Director-General of Health has created a stand-alone Health Workforce Directorate which will have greater capability and capacity on health workforce issues.

This has given Clark “an opportunity to refresh the membership and role of the HWNZ Board by updating the Terms of Reference with a move toward a stronger strategic governance role, with the Ministry leading on delivery of health workforce strategy, planning, analysis and forecasting, and commissioning”.

Clark has accepted Professor Des Gorman’s resignation and written to other board members informing them of his intentions.

As part of the transition process, the Ministry is identifying a small interim external advisory group to support the transition to the new arrangements and advise on the new HWNZ Terms of Reference.  The new Chair, Board members and updated Terms of Reference are expected to be announced in April next year.

21 DECEMBER 2018

Tertiary Education Institution Council appointments

Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced six appointments and reappointments to the governing councils of tertiary education institutions.

The new appointments and reappointments of council members are:

  • Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology: new appointment of Liz Te Amo to 30 April 2021
  • NorthTec:  Jane Hindle as council Chair for the 2019 year to cover the period Chair Wayne Jackson is Acting Chief Executive
  • Te Wānanga o Raukawa: new appointment of Tiwana Tibble to 31 December 2022
  • University of Canterbury: reappointment of Sue McCormack to 31 May 2021.
    McCormack has been elected Chancellor from 1 January 2019
  • Lincoln University: reappointment of Andrew (Andy) Macfarlane to 11 June 2020.
  • University of Otago new appointment of Suzanne Ellison MNZM to 31 December 2022.

Biographies for new appointees

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

  • Liz Te Amo (Te Arawa – Waitaha, Tūhourangi, Tapuika, Ngāti Mokois Chief Executive Officer for Tauranga-based Maori berryfruit company Miro LP. Before that, Liz was responsible for leading the national Crown-Māori economic development strategy and partnership at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Liz’s career in both the public and private sector has focused on developing New Zealand businesses internationally and, specifically, on growing Māori exporters, leadership and economic development. Her governance roles include Te Hono Primary Sector Leaders group, NZ Rugby Commercial Committee, and Waitaha Group Holdings.

Te Wānanga o Raukawa

  • Tiwana TIBBLE is a Fellow Chartered Accountant with experience in Investment Banking and Iwi Development. He has been a high achieving Chief Executive, having grown Ngāti Whatua Orakei assets from $50 million to over $600 million in 15 years. Tibble now focuses on a broader range of Maori Land Development opportunities, including Geothermal Power, Forestry, Tourism, Horticulture, Fishing and Farming.  His current roles are with Tauhara North No2 Trust, Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust, Ngati Porou Holdings and the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board.

University of Otago

  • Suzanne ELLISON MNZM (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe and Te Atiawa) is an iwi manager and researcher for arts and cultural heritage projects. She is Runaka Manager for Kāti Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki, chairs the Ngāi Tahu Funds Committee, and her governance experience includes Toi Aotearoa the Arts Council of New Zealand. She was a senior manager with Ngāi Tahu Development Corporation for more than 10 years and received her MNZM for services to Māori, the arts and governance.

21 DECEMBER 2018

Appointment of District Court Judge

Attorney-General David Parker announced La-Verne King, of Taemaro, Te Tai Tokerau has been appointed as a District Court Judge in Northland.

La-Verne King, whose iwi include Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa and Ngati Paoa, was admitted to the Bar in 1989.  In 1994, along with Judge Ida Malosi and Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae, she established the first Māori and Pasifika women law firm, KAM Legal.  Judge Sharyn Otene commenced her legal career there.

In 2007 La-Verne King returned to the Far North and went on to establish Doubtless Bay Law Ltd.

She was appointed as Youth Advocate in 1992, Counsel for Child in 1994, District Inspector for Mental Health in 2003 and Visiting Justice in 2009. In August 2018 she was appointed a member of the Independent Panel considering the 2014 Family Justice Reforms.    

Judge King will be sworn in on 31 May 2019. She will also have jurisdiction as a Family Court Judge.

21 DECEMBER 2018

Announcements of top diplomats

Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced the appointments of four diplomats to overseas missions:

  • Dr Trevor Matheson has been appointed the new High Commissioner to Samoa, with accreditation to American Samoa.
  • Peter Kell has been appointed as Ambassador to the Philippines.
  • Linda Te Puni has been appointed New Zealand’s next Ambassador to  Chile.
  • Tredene Dobson has been appointed Ambassador to Iraq.

More information about the appointees can be found here, here, here and here.  


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