MFAT’s prestige is expected to bloom again, now the ministry has gone to Seed

Chris  Seed  has been  confirmed  as  Secretary  of  Foreign Affairs  & Trade,  as Point of Order   earlier foreshadowed.  An experienced diplomat, he succeeds  Brook Barrington  who  the State Services  Commission named as CEO of the  Department of  Prime Minister &  Cabinet.

Seed,  who  recently  returned to NZ  after  serving  a  five-year term  as High Commissioner to  Canberra,   is  expected  to   work  closely   with  Foreign  Minister   Winston Peters on his Pacific Reset   policies.

His  appointment  is  understood  to  have been  extremely  well received  by  senior staff  in MFAT, whose  morale  was  severely bruised    during the era of  John Allen   as  CEO.     It is  known  that Peters   has been   keen  to  return  MFAT   to  the   slot   it  enjoyed   before the Allen era    as one of the  key  sources of   advice  to  Cabinet, not  just  on   foreign and trade  policies but  in other   areas  of   national  security. Continue reading “MFAT’s prestige is expected to bloom again, now the ministry has gone to Seed”

Speculation builds on Brook Barrington’s successor to take charge at MFAT

Cabinet’s appointments committee meets shortly for the last time this year and one of its principal agenda items will be finding a new CEO for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade to replace Brook Barrington, who will take over as head of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet in February.

There has been some interesting twists to the process. As with all CEO appointments, it is run by the State Services Commission which engages a specialist recruiting firm. However, Commissioner Peter Hughes has faced down criticism from within the public service and beyond after he used a little-known clause of the legislation when he despatched current DPMC CEO Andrew Kibblewhite to Justice and moved Justice CEO Andrew Bridgman to Ministry of Defence and Barrington to DPMC.

Continue reading “Speculation builds on Brook Barrington’s successor to take charge at MFAT”

Cheering news for Jackie Blue – two women are among the prospects to head MFAT

Back in June,  a  post  in Point of Order quoted  a  range of  comments on a  reshuffle  of five  CEOs across the  public service by State Services  Commissioner  Peter  Hughes, who  said he wanted  to maintain  momentum in  key roles  and portfolios.

Among the comments, Equal Employment  Opportunities   Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue observed that the appointments were all male and criticised  the process  as  unfair  to  top  women in  the public  service.

So there will be keen interest, not least from that quarter, in the competition  for  the  top  job at the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs  &  Trade.  Its current CEO, Dr Brook Barrington, was one of the five involved in the June reshuffle and  is designated  to take over from Andrew  Kibblewhite  as  CEO  of the  Department of  the Prime Minister and Cabinet  from  February 1. Continue reading “Cheering news for Jackie Blue – two women are among the prospects to head MFAT”