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Ed Sheeran

Musical chairs a white man's game

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The Public Service Association says the latest set chief executive appointments highlights a lack of diversity in the public sector.

National secretaries Erin Polaczuk and Glenn Barclay say the appointment of five men means the number of female chief executives will fall to only 12 out of 31.

Maori, Pasifika and Asian people are massively under-represented.

They say New Zealand’s public service should reflect the vibrant, diverse population it serves.

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes says because a number of vacancies are set to occur over the next 12 months, he announced the five appointments at once to remove uncertainty and maintain momentum in key roles and portfolios.

Three other chief executive posts will be advertised in the coming months.

Justice secretary Andrew Bridgman will take over as defence secretary from Helene Quilter in July 2019.

He will step down in his current role in February to make room for Andrew Kibblewhite, who currently heads the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

That position will be filled by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade chief executive Brook Barrington.

Corrections head Ray Smith takes over the Ministry for Primary Industries in November, and Culture and Heritage supremo Paul James becomes secretary for Internal Affairs from October 1.

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