New Zealand: Debbie Power to become new deputy state services commissioner

By on 22/04/2015
Debbie Power announced as the new deputy state services commissioner for New Zealand

Debbie Power will be the new deputy state services commissioner for New Zealand from 15 June this year, it has been announced today.

The post is the second in command of the State Services Commission – is the central public service department of New Zealand charged with overseeing, managing, and improving the performance of the country’s state sector and its organisations.

State services commissioner Iain Rennie welcomed the appointment of Power, who, he said, “has a wealth of experience in the delivery of frontline government services and managing complex, large scale operations throughout New Zealand.”

Power is currently deputy chief executive of Service Delivery at the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), which advises the government on social policy, and providing social services.

At Service Delivery – the largest service arm of MSD and the largest government agency in New Zealand, Power oversees around 6,000 staff in more than 240 locations throughout New Zealand, providing services to more than 1.1m people and administering $20bn in financial assistance payments.

Ms Power successfully led the implementation of welfare reform and the investment approach into Work and Income which have been the biggest changes made to the welfare system in 50 years.

As a result of the government’s housing reform, Power implemented changes to how social housing support was delivered and also led a major restructure of MSD’s service lines to improve the end-to-end customer experience.

She has held a number of roles at MSD, including regional commissioner and operations manager in Northland and private secretary in the Office of the Minister of Social Development.

Power has an executive masters in public administration from Victoria University.

Rennie said: “The deputy state services commissioner helps lead the ongoing work to improve the effectiveness of the state services and drive change in how agencies operate and work together to achieve results for New Zealanders.

“Debbie’s experience in frontline service delivery and change management will stand her in good stead to support better public services and understand the ‘on the ground’ challenges Public Servants face.”

Power will replace Sandi Beatie who retires on 30 April after a public service career.

Andrew Hampton has been appointed as deputy state services commissioner on a temporary basis from 1 May 2015 until June when Power takes up the role.

Hampton is currently government chief talent officer at the State Services Commission and was previously deputy secretary and director of the secretary’s office at the Ministry of Education. He has also held senior roles within Crown Law, Ministry of Justice and the Office of Treaty Settlements.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World – the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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