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Commissioner of Inland Revenue

Media statement from the State Services Commissioner

14 December 1999


Commissioner of Inland Revenue

The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, announced today that the Commissioner of Inland Revenue and chief executive of the Inland Revenue Department, Graham Holland, has decided not to seek reappointment when his contract expires on 26 March. Mr Wintringham said that while Mr Holland has yet to finalise a contract, he expects to take up an international consultancy position next year.

"I respect Mr Holland's decision," Mr Wintringham said.

"For five years, Mr Holland has been in charge of the second-largest Government department, during a period that has demanded an immense commitment from him professionally and personally.

"At the same time, he has been offered some attractive international jobs, any one of which would represent a major step forward in his career.

"Mr Holland is among the most experienced people in his field," Mr Wintringham said. "I was not surprised when he told me, some weeks ago, that he was planning a career move."

Mr Holland has been the Commissioner of Inland Revenue since March 1995. He was previously a Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue. He has spent most of his 34-year Public Service career in the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and he has worked in most areas of the department. In the mid-1980s, he led the IRD team that implemented the goods and services tax (GST).

He also worked, for a number of years, as an international advisor on tax regimes and tax policy for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), based in Washington, DC. In that role, he was an advisor to governments in developing countries and the federal governments of Canada and the United States. He is a member of the international panels of experts, on fiscal policy and value-added tax, for the IMF and the OECD.

In 1997 Mr Holland was made a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants in recognition of his contribution to the accountancy profession.

Mr Wintringham said that Mr Holland had led the IRD through a tough period publicly, including almost three years of the 'Winebox inquiry' and a select committee inquiry into the department.

"Under those circumstances, it takes a massive effort from the chief executive. He or she must be the public face of the department and, simultaneously, maintain morale within the organisation. Mr Holland managed that feat. Indeed, he maintained his dignity under huge public pressure and in circumstances which tested his forbearance."

Under section 35 of the State Sector Act 1988, the State Services Commissioner appoints the chief executive of IRD (who is also the Commissioner of Inland Revenue). The State Services Commissioner is required to consult the Government on any matters which it wishes him to take into account in appointing a chief executive.

"However, given the size and complexity of the chief executive's role at the IRD, and the lead time until Mr Holland leaves, I won't be able to complete a chief executive appointment process before that time. I expect that I will have to appoint an acting chief executive who will run IRD immediately after Mr Holland leaves in March," Mr Wintringham said.


Further information: Owen Gill 0-4 495 6609

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