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”
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”
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”